THE Department of Interior and Local Government said the government is coordinating with different agencies and other countries in preventing the entry of foreign terrorists.
“[There is] a close cooperation with Indonesia, Malaysia….and then we have already alerted all agencies involving counter terrorism particularly BI [Bureau of Immigration, NBI [National Bureau of Investigation], Philippine National Police, and Bureau of Customs. So (our) inter-agency collaboration (is good),” Interior Secretary Eduardo M. Año told reporters at the Philippine Military Academy homecoming in Baguio City on Saturday, Feb. 16.
He also said the government is coordinating with counter terrorism agencies from the US, Australia, and Singapore.
“Yes, Malaysian counterpart, Indonesian, Singapore, US, Australia. Almost in a daily basis meron kaming mga (we get) text, calls, and consultations especially with Australia and US,” Mr. Año said.
He added: “Heightened alert tayo sa (We’re heightened alert in) Midnanao particularly…Sulu, Basilan, Cotabato, and Zamboanga, kasi meron pa tayong foreign terrorists na hinahanap (because we’re still looking for foreign terrorists), trained suicide bombers.”
“Hangga’t di natin na-neu-neutralize itong mga ito, di natin masasabing safe talaga completely yung ating key cities in Mindanao.” (As long as we have not yet neutralized them, we cannot declare that the our key cities in Mindanao are completely safe.)
On the Jan. 27 Jolo Cathedral bombing, Mr. Año said the suicide bomber’s nationality is being verified. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras