Gov’t not taking terrorism lightly: Palace

MANILA In line with President Rodrigo Duterte's goal to fulfill his constitutional duty to serve and protect the Filipino people, MalacaAang on Thursday assured the government is not taking the threat of terrorism lightly.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made this reaction after the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) released the Global Terrorism Index 2018 report showing the Philippines in the 10th spot of the list of countries most affected by terrorism.

As one would expect, we are not taking terrorism lightly. Our goal is to totally eradicate rebellion by crushing it as well as by providing better services and opportunities for all to achieve a state where there would no longer be a need for any uprising or armed struggle, Panelo said in a statement.

Amid baseless denunciations by critics, we can assure our people that the President remains focused and steadfast in fulfilling his constitutional mandate to serve and protect the Filipino people, he added.

According to the report, Iraq as well as Afghanistan, Nigeria, Syria, Pakistan, and Somalia have suffered 'very high' while India, Yemen, Egypt, the Philippines and 13 other countries have experienced 'high' impact of terrorism in 2018.

Completing the list of countries with high impact of terrorism are Democratic Republic of the Congo, Turkey, Libya, Libya, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Thailand, Sudan, Kenya, US, Ukraine, Mali, and Niger.

Panelo said reports, including from EIP, are among the reasons why peace and order remains a primordial concern of the Duterte administration.

Terrorism knows no time, geography or circumstances. No matter how prepared a country or its government is, damage will inevitably be incurred if terrorism befalls in a locality within its jurisdiction, Panelo said.

He said the decision to extend the declaration of martial law in Mindanao was part the President's comprehensive approach in achieving 'inclusive and sustainable peace throughout the country.

Duterte signed Proclamation No. 216 in May last year following the bloody attack of terrorist Maute group in Marawi City.

Amid laudable efforts of our law enforcers on the ground to thwart rebellion, the latter remains, and various groups continue to sow terror and chaos in Mindanao, with remnants of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), Daulah Islamiyah, and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) members still struggling to pursue their goal of establishing an Islamic state and ousting the Philippine Government, Panelo said.

This persistent and continuing threat to public safety has compelled the President to push for the extension of martial law in the region, he added.

Other measures taken by Duterte to boost his comprehensive solution against terrorism was the issuance of Memorandum Order (MO) No. 32 which reinforced the guidelines of the military and police in implementing measures to suppress and prevent such lawless violence.

Duterte has also issued Executive Order No. 70 directing the creation of a national task force to end local communist armed conflict, as well as the adoption of a national peace framework that will contain policies addressing the root causes of insurgencies. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency