Palace wants closer look at terror data
MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang on Friday said it would take a closer look at the data mentioned in the recent Global Terrorism Index that ranked the Philippines ninth among countries with the most number of terror incidents.
“We’d like to see what those incidents are and compare it with the data that our law enforcement agencies have,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a press conference.
“There are some incidents that we continue to register. That’s why we also want to take a look at the individual incidents (in the terror index) such as who are involved, the loss of human life and property damage,” Valte added.
The Institute for Economics and Peace’s Global Terrorism Index for 2013 ranked the Philippines ninth out of 162 countries with the worst number of deaths and injuries borne out of terrorist attacks.
The report said the 499 incidents in the country in 2013 resulted in 292 recorded deaths and 444 injuries.
The statistics were twice as high as those recorded in 2012, the report said.
Most of the terrorist attacks were carried out by the New People’s Army (NPA), followed by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
“Certainly, I think everyone is unified in the goal that we want to lessen these incidents [of terrorism]… for the safety of our people,” Valte said.
The government and the MILF recently inked a peace agreement that aims to end the four-decade strife in Mindanao.
Valte said that military operations against the NPA and the ASG—the primary security threats to the country—were going on.
Asked by a reporter if she was not convinced that the man shown in the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) video looks like a Filipino, Valte replied:
“A lot of us in Asia share the same characteristics and I would not be so bold as to say that he is a Filipino.”
Valte said government “continues to vet pieces of information like this.”
“So far, the military has turned up information that is negative to this effect, but again, efforts will continue, and as mentioned by our AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), their engagements will continue with the local officials just… to avert any recruitment activities,” she said.
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