DAVAO CITY-- Way before Marawi City was seized by Maute, an ISIS-sympathizing group currently at war with government forces, President Rodrigo Duterte had already mentioned a looming problem involving the said extremist organization in the Philippines.
This was pointed out by Sec. Ernesto Abella during the Mindanao Hour Press Briefing held in this city Friday, in response to critics saying that the administration has overlooked terrorism problems in the country due to its focus on illegal drugs.
Let me remind you that as early as August last year or one-and-a-half months after PRRD assumed the presidency, the president already told the Philippine military to be ready with ISIS and warned that the country would be plagued with the ISIS disease, Abella said.
He quoted the president's speech at the 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division of the Philippine Army in Zamboanga del Sur, dated 10th of August last year saying, Busy na unta ta pag-atubang ni aning problemaha na-a pa gyud droga and I see a looming problem. Tan-aw nako within three to seven years from now magka-problema ta sa ISIS.
[We're already busy with the problem on drugs and I see a looming problem. I think within three to seven years from now, we will have a problem regarding ISIS.]
President Duterte revealed at that time that Arab ISIS members have entered some parts of Mindanao as missionaries whose real purpose is to indoctrinate into Moros, the convoluted ideals of the international extremist organization.
Mao na'y kahadlukan kay sama sa mga komunista, pag humana na og ma-clear na nila ang lugar, nakit-an nila maayo mosulod na ining ilang political officers, the president said last year. Kanang may delikado kay ang gina luto ana ang utok. Anaay problema diri sa Muslim insurgency and we must arrest them before dili sila, ang atong mga kaigsuonang Moro, dili ma-contaminate sa ISIS disease.
[That's troublesome because similar to communists, when they're done with the place and they see that it's clear, that's when their political officers come in. That's dangerous because they are messing with the mind. There's a problem here on Muslim insurgency and we must arrest them before, not them, our Moro brothers, that they don't get contaminated with the ISIS disease.]
Abella pointed out that President Duterte had already started receiving intelligence about the ISIS's plans to take over the Muslim communities in Mindanao as early as last year, thus, the issue on terrorism had never been overshadowed by the government's war on drugs.
Source: Philippines News Agency