THE Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) will beef up its security measures following reports that several foreign terrorists have arrived in the country to train local militants on how to make bombs.
Wesmincom Commander Cirilito Sobejana said they gathered intelligence information that at least seven foreign terrorists were able to enter the country and have made contact with local terror groups Abu Sayyaf, Dawlah Islamiya and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
He declined to identify the terrorists, but said they were training local terrorists on how to make explosives.
Sobejana said they will beef up security operations to thwart any possible attack being planned by the terrorists.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), meanwhile, said 42 other foreign terrorists are being monitored in the country particularly on their links with the international terror group Islamic State.
AFP spokesperson Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo noted the importance of cooperation and information sharing between and among countries in the region particularly Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines.
This was after Indonesian investigators confirmed that the couple responsible for the Jolo cathedral bombing in January 2019 were Indonesians.
“The media report quoting Indonesian authorities that the perpetrators in the Mount Carmel Cathedral explosion in Jolo, Sulu was an Indonesian couple comes as a confirmation of our own findings in the thorough investigation we conducted,” said Arevalo.
“The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has shared notes and provided vital information with Indonesian counterparts. Those data which were based from our own inquiry and intelligence contributed to their deliberations that led to this confirmation,” he added.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde said the nationality of the suspects were determined through the DNA samples obtained by the PNP Crime Laboratory from the severed body parts of the couple following the blast which killed at least 23 people. (SunStar Philippines)