ARMED Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Edgard Arevalo said Thursday, January 11, that the military cannot totally discount the possibility that foreign terrorists have already entered the country, but assured that they are taking precautionary measures.
“We cannot discount the possibility that foreign fighters were surreptitiously able to enter the country given our vast and porous borders,” he said.
“That is why we are also keeping a tight watch over the country’s crevices. We have enhanced our own monitoring and security posture to keep our sea and air ports in check,” he added.
Arevalo said they do this with the help of domestic and international agencies and local government units.
Arevalo said they are coordinating closely with local government units as well as with their foreign and international counterparts, particularly in neighboring countries Malaysia and Indonesia.
However, he encouraged the public to be vigilant and to report immediately to the authorities the arrival of new and suspicious faces in their community.
Earlier, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said they were verifying reports that foreign terrorists have entered the country, particularly Mindanao.
“That is also what we got and we are trying to confirm it. That is another reason to bolster our argument sa extension ng martial law. Kung maraming pumapasok na mga foreign terrorist, then the more na we need to do it strictly sa Mindanao, ‘yung fighting against them using martial law,” he said.
Lorenzana also said that terror groups might again attack a city just like what the Maute terror group did in Marawi City that resulted President Rodrigo Duterte to place the entire Mindanao under martial law. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo/SunStar Philippines)