by: Mario J Mallari
Published in tribune.net
Government intelligence units are now scampering to verify information that Filipino Muslims have slipped out of Mindanao to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the Middle East after Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte revealed that some Muslim youths from Davao have been recruited by the jihadist group.
“Right now, we have our intelligence units working on it. We also have fusion with the PNP (Philippine National Police),” Caber added.
According to Duterte, the Filipino recruits left the country in July.
Maj. Gen. Eduardo Ano, commander of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division (ID) which has jurisdiction over Davao City, said he will check on the mayor’s revelation.
“I will check on it, I will validate and take a careful look if there is basis so we can do some appropriate action. We cannot dismiss that right away…because he has his own sources,” he added.
Duterte’s pronouncements apparently gave credence to the information revealed by former President Fidel V. Ramos earlier, saying more than 100 Filipino Muslims have slipped out of the country for the Middle East to train with ISIS to become jihadists.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), however, dismissed reports that Filipino militants are now with ISIS.
This, even after the terrorist Abu Sayyaf group and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM) have claimed allegiance and expressed support to ISIS.
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front, meanwhile, expressed fears that the failure of the government of the Philippines (GRP) and the MILF to strike a peace agreement could lead to propagation of ISIS virus in Mindanao.
The MILF claimed that through the years, it has been instrumental in preventing the birth of a strong radical group in southern Philippines.
Duterte revealed that some Davao Muslim youths were recruited by ISIS which now controls large swaths of Iraq and Syria.