AFP keeping a ‘tight watch’ over PH borders vs foreign fighters
The Armed Forces of the Philippines is keeping a “tight watch” over the country’s borders to prevent the entry of foreign fighters in Mindanao.
“We cannot discount the possibility of foreign fighters surreptitiously able to enter the country given our vast and porous borders,” AFP spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo said Thursday.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said early this week that they are checking reports indicating that foreign fighters have entered Mindanao, a few months after the Marawi siege ended.
“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,” Arevalo said.
He mentioned that the Philippines has conventions and agreements with other countries in response to security threats like the Islamic State, citing the trilateral joint patrols with Indonesia and Malaysia.
“But at the end of the day, we need the vigilance, cooperation, and active participation of our people in the communities who can monitor and report arrival of new faces in the neighborhood,” he said.
Foreign fighters participated alongside the ISIS-inspired Maute terrorists during the five-month siege in Marawi City, the biggest security crisis of the military in recent years. /je
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