AFP wants public help in stepped-up fight vs terrorism
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is hoping to intensify its security efforts against terrorism with the help of citizens in the wake of fresh reports that ISIS-inspired Maute terrorist group is reorganizing after the five-month battle in Marawi City last year.
“There will always be a gap in the security measures being implemented by every nation in the world, big or small. Terrorists will always look into those gaps and take advantage of them,” AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bievenido Datuin told reporters on Monday.
“We aim to strengthen our security measures with the help of our citizens in order to fill in those gaps,” he also said.
Reports of Maute terrorists rebuilding its forces have been cited by the military after the five-month siege ended in October 2017.
The regrouping of the terrorists to launch another attack was also one of the reasons why the military asked for the extension of martial law in Mindanao until December 2018.
In a news report on Monday, Australia echoed such a possibility of Maute terrorists reorganizing.
Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely was quoted as saying that they have received evidence of the regrouping based on the intelligence information shared by the Philippine government.
The military, for its part, continues to verify all the information they could get.
“The AFP is continuously monitoring and verifying every information related to any alleged movements of terror groups. We are in constant coordination with our foreign and local counterparts to address the scourge of terrorism,” Datuin said.
He further said they are also concerned with the “financial and logistics line of terrorist organizations” apart from the armed component of terrorism.
Datuin added that the fight against terrorism is “not the sole responsibility of the government or the security sector but of every citizen of the republic.”
The five-month Marawi City siege displaced thousands of residents, and killed more than 160 soldiers, over 800 suspected terrorists, and 47 civilians. /kga
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