Philippine president orders beefing up of police force

10-Aug-2019 Intellasia | Xinhuanet | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to recruit and train up to 10,000 elite special forces to fight the growing threat of Islamic State-affiliated terror groups that are trying to establish a front in the Philippines.

“We are facing so many fronts. I need more soldiers. I would need about an additional of seven to 10 (thousand) Special Action Force troopers since the problem is getting bigger and bigger,” Duterte said in a speech before newly-promoted PNP officers at the presidential palace on Thursday.

Duterte stressed the need for the “coming dangers ahead” due to the migration of Islamic State militants to Southeast Asia.

He ordered PNP chief general Oscar Albayalde to begin the recruitment process.

“Maybe general Albayalde can at least start on this project,” Duterte said. “You must work the soldiers hard so we can meet the coming dangers ahead.”

Philippine authorities accused the local IS-affiliated groups like the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) of harboring foreign fighters who managed to slip into the country.

Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Western Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said last month that the BIFF and the ASG were harboring at least seven foreign terrorists who were in Mindanao to train Filipinos to become suicide bombers.

The ASG is a small and violent terror group that operates in the western fringes of the southern Philippine island of Mindanao and on the Sulu islands.

The BIFF broke away in 2010 from the larger Moro Islamic Liberation Front that forged peace with the government in 2014. The BIFF is among the radical terror groups with an alleged link to the IS operating in the southern Philippines.

The ASG and the BIFF have pledged allegiance to the IS militants and helped the Maute militants attack Marawi City in May 2017.


Category: Philippines

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