^

Headlines

Noy wants PSG to beef up security for papal visit

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star

New York – President Aquino wants the Presidential Security Group (PSG) to beef up security for Pope Francis during the papal visit to the Philippines in January next year.

“I want to see them (PSG) double the effort, especially for the head of the Holy Mother Church. There shouldn’t be any incident while he’s in our country,” Aquino told journalists at Omni Berkshire Hotel here.

He refused to provide details, however, as this would jeopardize security preparations for the pope.

“We’re not going into details. To go into details now might increase the problems of the PSG,” Aquino said firmly, pointing out that protection to be provided to the pontiff should be way, way beyond what his men have accorded him.

The issue about security protection was raised following reports the very popular pope has serious threats from the Islamic State terrorist group. The IS has been the target of the US and its allies, which have launched air strikes against the extremists in Iraq and Syria.

Aquino said beefing up the country’s security is also expected next year when the Philippines hosts the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in November 2015.

Aquino said he and US President Barack Obama did not talk about the IS issue in the United Nations General Assembly here, where world leaders gathered for the Climate Change Summit.

He revealed that Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario would be meet officials of the US State Department about the IS threat.

He said they would be getting more details about how to go about requests from their American counterpart.

“Of course, we want to do something that is doable and within our capabilities without posing undue risks to the country at large. We want to get more details, if they are asking for assistance and what manner of assistance,” he said.

The President said IS members are similar to Muslim extremists in Mindanao, specifically the Abu Sayyaf and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) that have been involved in kidnap-for-ransom activities and other crimes.

“They are doing basically the same things, but now attributing it to their joining ISIS, which doesn’t necessarily mean that they are ISIS,” Aquino explained.

Early this month, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) assured the public that there would be no IS-type radicalization of Muslim rebels in Mindanao, reiterating their support for the recently signed draft Bangsamoro Basic Law bill now being discussed in Congress.

“Finalization of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law... I think this is the main antidote to whatever radicalization in Mindanao,” MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal told newsmen.

“I am not worried at all. The reality that nothing happened since we started to craft the Bangsamoro Basic Law until now. So I don’t believe that there is a growing radicalization,” he said in a chance interview in Malacañang when the BBL was turned over to Congress leaders by Aquino.

 

ABU SAYYAF AND BANGSAMORO ISLAMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS

AQUINO

ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION

BANGSAMORO BASIC LAW

CLIMATE CHANGE SUMMIT

FOREIGN AFFAIRS SECRETARY ALBERT

HOLY MOTHER CHURCH

IRAQ AND SYRIA

ISLAMIC STATE

MINDANAO

  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with