Zubiri: AFP, PNP should work with int’l intel vs ASG
The military and the police should not only double their efforts but they should also work closely with the intelligence units of other countries to thwart the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and other terrorists in the country, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri said on Monday.
Zubiri said it was alarming that the group had already reached the Visayas dubbed as the “Golden jewel of tourism” in the Philippines. At least nine persons were killed when government forces clashed with the ASG in Bohol last week.
“Nakakaalarma yung nangyayari. Dapat ‘yung intelligence community from the military and the PNP (Philippine National Police) should double time its efforts to find out. Naunahan pa tayo ng embassies, ng US embassy and I believe also the Canadian embassy also gave out the warning days prior sa paghuli, pagkita sa kanila doon,” he said in an interview at the Senate.
“We have to double time our efforts because the Visayas is the richest area in terms of tourism… ‘yan talaga ang puhunan nila sa Visayas, tourism.”
“Kung magkaroon ng black eye dyan, magkakaroon po tayo ng problema in terms of kidnapping or a death of a tourist and God willing this will not happen in the Visayas, lalo na sa Cebu, Bohol, Negros, and other areas of the Visayas, then it will give a black eye to our tourism industry,” the senator added.
Zubiri said the PNP and Armed Forces of the Philippines should not stop until the remaining ASG extremists are captured and should make sure that those areas are secured.
Aside from working double time on their intel, the senator also urged the military and the police to work closely with the intelligence units of other countries like the US, European Union and Israel.
“Israel has a very potent intelligence service in the Philippines, dapat siguro kausapin din natin sila. Our lines should be opened with that. Ang alam ko po ang Israel, whenever there is a terrorist threat or a jihadist threat, meron po silang local assets in the area na nagbabantay and legend is the Israeli government knows first-hand of any terrorist activities before it actually happens in many countries in Asia.”
“So we should tap those intelligence communities and I think the PNP and AFP should be now on alert for these type of terrorist activities hitting the Visayas and Mindanao,” he said.
Zubiri said local official and residents must also stay vigilant since the only way to stop terrorism at this point is for them to get involved by reporting any suspicious activities in their areas. JE/rga
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