MANILA Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Tuesday dismissed reports claiming that an estimated 100 Islamic State (ISIS)-inspired foreign terrorists are already in the country.
He made this comment on the sidelines of the UH-IH spare parts turnover ceremony at the Haribon Hangar, Clark Air Base, Pampanga.
"I would like to debunk that theory of (Professor Rommel Banlaoi), I think he was saying that there were already 100 ISIS in Mindanao. We don't see those people there. Not that much,siguro merong konti dun (maybe there are a few), siguro(maybe a) couple, siguro (maybe) up to 10, In fact, namatay na nga ung isa nung isang araw yata (I think one already died the other day)," Lorenzana said.
Banlaoi, chair of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research, claimed that these foreign terrorists are mostly Indonesians and have allegedly joined up with various terror groups like the Abu Sayyaf, Abu Dar Group, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and Ansar Khalifa Islamiyah.
"Now if we have Filipinos there fighting in Syria, then we might expect them to be coming back here. Yung mga Malaysians, babalik saMalaysia yan. 'Yung mga Indonesian, sa (the Malaysians will go back to Malaysia and the Indonesians to) Indonesia. So (the) likelihood (that) they might transfer from one country to another is very big," Lorenzana said.
Lorenzana said the Philippines continues to beef up coordination with its Southeast Asian neighbors to curb movements of these terrorists.
"And we are also intensifying our ops in the South (so) we can eliminate them altogether. Pero hindi ako naniniwala na lumalaki sila rito sa atin (But I do not believe that they are multiplying here)," Lorenzana said. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency