THE Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Division junked reports on the possible presence of the dreaded Islamic State members in Western Visayas.
Lieutenant Colonel Ericson Rosana, 3ID’s assistant chief of staff for Civil Military Operation, said they have not received reports on the presence or even attempts of the terrorist group to set up cells in the Visayas region.
“Our intelligence personnel supported such assessment,” Rosana said.
Rosana believed that the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police (PNP), as well as other law enforcement agencies, have forged a strong partnership with the community, who serve as the eyes and ears of the government against suspicious activities,
“We bank on the involvement of the communities. If they see something is amiss, like they saw a banca na parang iba, they could report to us,” Rosana said.
If they have the important data needed, Rosana said they could check and, if necessary, neutralize any threat.
Following the Marawi siege in 2017, Captain Ruel Llanes, 301st IB Civil Military Operations (CMO) officer, said they have tasked Muslim officers and enlisted personnel to monitor possible encroachment of ISIS believers in the region.
So far, none was monitored.
Reports of ISIS resurgence in the country came out following a spate of attacks, including a deadly church bombing in Mindanao which was allegedly perpetrated by local militant groups that have pledged allegiance to the jihadist group.
Around the same time last year, there were also reports of a possible intrusion of ISIS members in other parts of the country.
Prior to that, the PNP hierarchy said it is checking on information that alleged ISIS members entered the country by posing as fishermen.