No ISIS training camp in Philippines — Palace PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 26 December 2015 14:22

Malacañang on Tuesday belied reports that international terror group ISIS has set up a training camp in the Philippines. Quoting National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said: “ISIS has no training camps in the Philippines.” “What ISIS-linked personalities have done is to try to link-up with local jihadist/terrorist groups,” Coloma added. Further, Coloma said: “Some of these ISIS-linked personalities, who are really few in number, have also sought refuge in the base areas of these local terrorist groups.” For his part, military spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla said the video is undergoing cyber-forensics by intelligence operatives from various agencies to verify its authenticity. “Ang social media po kasi ngayon napakadaling gamitin, napakalawak kaya madalas sinasabi natin na maaaring lumabas ito. Hindi itinatangi na may mga ISIS-inspired at saka ISIS-sympathizers. Madami po dyan, maging dito po sa Pilipinas meron po tayo niyan pero ang sinasabi lang po natin wala po tayong nakikita pang verified at credible na authentic na link,” Padilla explained The video is considered more dangerous than previously-released propaganda as it was a direct call for action. Earlier materials mostly demanded ransom or professed sympathy to the terrorist group. “If it falls on ears of those who would like to show something in sympathy or derive inspiration from these materials as the bigger groups have been doing then we have to guard against it,” Padilla said. He then clarified that while all materials from terrorists groups were taken seriously, “the concentration of the call” by ISIS is in the Middle East. Earlier, Mail Online reported that a propaganda video purportedly released by the terror group shows a training camp has been set up in a Philippine jungle. The video surfaced a month after eight members of an ISIS-inspired group were killed in a clash with the Philippine military in Sultan Kudarat. Maj. Filemon Tan Jr., spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) Western Mindanao Command, said government troops encountered the group Ansar Al Khalifa Philippines at Sinapinga, Barangay Butril in Palimbang town. Tan then said that while the group identified itself with the ISIS, it wasn’t recognized by the jihadist group. He added that the group has been around for a while. — Kathrina Charmaine Alvarez with Rie Takumi/RSJ, GMA News