PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte is worried that terrorist groups linked to Islamic State may have spilled into the main island of Luzon, according to his spokesman.
Presidential spokesman Salvador S. Panelo cited the president’s speech on Monday, when he said he had prayed to God to spare the Philippines the kind of brutality that IS has inflicted in Iraq and Syria.
“Because it will really be bloody,” Mr. Duterte had said.
The president based his information on an alert memo ordering the Northern Luzon Command to boost its operations in Laoag, Vigan, Manaoag and Tuguegarao, Mr. Panelo said.
“That’s raw intelligence,” the spokesman said. “We know that the IS group is so brutal in slaying people and we will be fighting back — and that will mean bloody encounters,” he said.
Armed Forces spokesman Brig. Gen. Edgard A. Arevalo told CNN Philippines IS does not pose a threat in Northern Luzon.
“Based on what we have seen, it’s negative,” the military spokesman said in Filipino. “But again, we should never let our guards down.” — Arjay L. Balinbin