PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde stressed on Thursday, July 11, the importance of upgrading the police and military’s surveillance equipment in order to strengthen the country’s anti- insurgency and terrorism campaign.
“Unang-una definitely mag-iiba ang playing field. I think the more that we should get serious on this hindi lang ng AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and PNP but also the whole government kailangan talaga natin na paigtingin pa ‘yung kampanya laban dito - sa counter-terrorism campaign effort natin,” Albayalde said.
He was asked on the implications of the DNA test result that confirmed a Filipino was one of two suicide bombers who attacked a military camp in Indanan, Sulu on June 28.
“Kailangan ma-appreciate na na kailangan na rin natin siguro na napaka-importante na magkaroon na ng intelligence technical equipment at of course ‘yung radicalization, how we counter the radicalization nitong mga nagiging biktima or target of radicalization. Education for me is very important,” he added.
Albayalde said the PNP and AFP could not afford yet to improve on its surveillance capabilities because it is costly, for “political reasons” and because of the law which protect the people’s privacy.
The top cop also underscored the need to amend the Human Security Act and enforce the National ID System which could also boost the law enforcer’s surveillance capability and anti-terrorism and insurgency operations.
The PNP and AFP have confirmed that Norman Lasuca, 23, was the first Filipino suicide bomber in the country. Lasuca was one of two people who staged the bombing in a military camp in Indanan, Sulu on June 28 which killed three soldiers and several other people.
The AFP said that according to Lasuca’s mother, he left home in 2014 in order to escape from his father who was physically abusing him.
After being influenced by his friends, Lasuca joined the Abu Sayyaf group when he was still a teenager.
AFP spokesperson Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said Lasuca’s case was an isolated case.
“Nakikita pa rin natin ito na isang isolated case. We still consider this to be an isolated case and we are exerting all efforts in order for us to help in ensuring that this will not happen again,” he said.
“Ang isang malaking implikasyon nito, kung meron ngang kaso ng suicide bombing sa Pilipinas, ito ang dapat magmulat sa atin sa panibagong kaisipan na iba na ang security environment sa ating bansa,” he added.
Arevalo said the PNP and the military are doing their best in order to avoid similar incidents from happening again.
He urged parents to take care of their children so they would not be targeted for radicalization. (SunStar Philippines)