Extremist recruitment in Baguio feared

BAGUIO City Mayor Mauricio Domogan has called for calm following reports of questionable activities by Saudi-inspired institutions allegedly involved in extremist movements.

“There is a need to study and confirm through data, reports of alleged Saudi-inspired institutions operating in the city who are involved in political and religious extremism and radicalism,” said Domogan.

Domogan added he wants to seek further clarification from the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) and the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) regarding reports some Saudi-inspired institutions operating in the city are allegedly involved in political and religious extremism and radicalism to help guide concerned government agencies and the local government to stop their activities.

The report was presented to the members of the Regional Development Council and the Regional Peace and Order Council during its quarterly meeting in Luna, Apayao.

“I hope they will take it objectively. It is not from us the LGU of Baguio who have said that there are certain signs and symptoms of certain teaching establishments which are somewhat leaning to radicalization,” the chief executive said

Based on the presentation of the NCMF and ATC, it alleged some graduates from an institution in Baguio have been involved in illegal acts in Zamboanga City.

It also presented the dispatch abroad of Muslim scholars studying to join colleagues in extremism movements in Marawi City’s violent take over by the Maute group some three months ago, advocating political and religious agenda.

“We said it repeatedly, if a terrorist act would happen in Baguio City even if they were not the once who did it, the perception of the people is they are the ones,” Domogan stated.

The mayor stressed the action of bringing the matter to the attention of the Muslim community in the city to help find ways on how to stop the alleged activities of the Saudi-inspired learning institutions.

“It might be they are also teaching radical lessons in the said school, that’s why the need the data to be discussed with the Muslim leaders,” Domogan said.

Domogan added Muslims residents in the different barangays had been time and again reminded to police their own ranks during their previous engagements by reporting to concerned authorities their fellow Muslims who want to reside with them because if something untoward happens in Baguio city, it could not be avoided that the primary suspects will be always coming from their ranks considering what has been happening in violent-stricken areas.

The mayor also urged his fellow local officials and members of the RPOC to intensify their massive information and education campaign regarding the government’s anti-terrorism efforts to help spare their areas from being invaded by terrorists who want to wreck havoc and ruin the prevailing peace and order situation in their areas of jurisdiction and prevent violence and bloodshed from happening around the country. with a report from Dexter See/Baguio City PIO
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