Duterte’s ISIS claims unverified, AFP says
MANILA, Philippines–After Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte claimed that some Muslim rebels in Davao have joined terror group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Armed Forces of the Philippines said that his information was still unverified.
Lieutenant General Eduardo Año, 10th Infantry Division (ID) Commander, said there are no valid intelligence reports supporting the claims of Duterte, who echoed the statement of former president Fidel V. Ramos.
“We haven’t covered any valid intel or any valid information,” said Año, who was still the Intelligence Services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief early August. “We have not reported any of the local jihadists leaving the country.”
He added that the AFP does not release any unverified information as it might cause panic to the people.
“If we are to speculate, say something that is not validated, it may cause panic to our people,” Año said.
Despite Duterte’s claims, Año said that members of the rebel group Abu Sayyaf, who pledged support to ISIS, are still in the country.
Año said that the group, which also calls itself as Kalifa Islamiyaah, is conducting the training in the borders of Lanao and Maguindanao.
He, however, said that the 10th ID would still verify Duterte’s claims and look into the appropriate action that would be implemented.
“I don’t know his basis, but we will check it,” Año said. “We will take a careful look on what his basis is.”
Año added that he would have his Division’s Intelligence officers check into the claim.
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