Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said he agrees with the US assessment that the country’s problem with the Islamic State remains serious.
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Mindanao security forces still on lookout for foreign terrorists
Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star) - February 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Police and military forces in Mindanao are still in search of foreign terrorists who remain a threat to the region, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said.

Año said he agrees with the US assessment that the country’s problem with the Islamic State remains serious.

He said security forces in Mindanao are on heightened alert particularly in Sulu, Basilan, Cotabato and Zamboanga “because we are still looking for foreign terrorists, trained suicide bombers.”

“Until after these terrorist groups are neutralized we could not say completely that the key cities are safe,” Año told reporters in Baguio City where he attended Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Alumni Homecoming event last Saturday.

He said he “somehow agrees” with the Pentagon’s assessment of the security situation in Mindanao insofar as the IS threat is concerned considering the terror attacks in Lamitan, Basilan and Jolo, Sulu.

“And there are still foreign terrorists in our country inside Mindanao” and until such threats are addressed, “we must be always be prepared.” 

Año gave assurance the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are doing everything to neutralize the foreign terrorist threat.

And in order to prevent the entry of more foreign terrorists, he said close cooperation with Indonesia, Malaysia and other countries is being maintained and further strengthened as well as inter-agency collaboration between various law enforcement agencies.

FOREIGN TERRORISTS ISLAMIC STATE
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