Solicitor General Jose Calida told the SC in a 50-page comment filed Tuesday that the entry of at least four foreign terrorists last year was among the factual bases for the extension of Proclamation No. 216 for another year or until December 2019.
Miguel De Guzman
Jose Calida: ‘Foreign terrorists continue training of local recruits’
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - January 17, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign terrorists continue to enter the country to train local recruits.

The government revealed this as it justified the legality of the third extension of martial law in Mindanao before the Supreme Court (SC).

Solicitor General Jose Calida told the SC in a 50-page comment filed Tuesday that the entry of at least four foreign terrorists last year was among the factual bases for the extension of Proclamation No. 216 for another year or until December 2019.

“There is also a consistent influx of foreign terrorists in the country who are primarily responsible for the conduct of trainings to local terrorist fighters, especially in making improvised explosive devices and motivating locals to serve as suicide bombers,” Calida bared.

He said there are four identified foreign terrorist fighters and 60 others on the military’s watchlist, but did not name them in the pleading.

Citing the official report from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Calida further revealed that there is “ongoing rebellion of the Daesh-inspired groups and its local and foreign allies, particularly the Daulah Islamiyah (DI) and also of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) forces in Mindanao.”

He said the “Daesh-inspired groups have shifted their strategy from establishing a Wilayat to global insurgency or rebellion” and that “they continue their recruitment and radicalization activities teaching their new members how to launch deadlier attacks and to sow chaos and instability that will extremely endanger the public.”

“Based on the AFP’s end of first semester data, the Abu Sayyaf group has a total of 424 members with 473 firearms. They are scattered all over Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Zamboanga covering 138 barangays. The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) has 264 members with 254 firearms and affecting 50 barangays.

The DI has a reach of 16 barangays and is composed of 59 members of the Maute group with 61 firearms, six members of the Maguid group with 10 firearms and 85 members of the Turaifie group with 20 firearms. The total barangays affected are 204,” Calida revealed.

Apart from the terrorist groups, Calida also cited the insurgency waged by the CPP-NPA and their attacks in Mindanao last year. 

“In the present case, it is apparent that the NPA continues to rise publicly and take up arms against the government. From Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2018, there have been a total of 369 NPA-initiated violent incidents, 193 of these were committed in Mindanao alone,” read the comment.

With these data, Calida told the SC that the extension of martial law for another year is necessary to provide public safety in Mindanao.

He asked the high court to junk the petition filed by opposition lawmaker led by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman earlier this month seeking to void the third extension of martial law.

JOSE CALIDA MARTIAL LAW SUPREME COURT
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