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President warns of IS threat

President Duterte has warned the public about the imminent threat of the Islamic State given its links to the Abu Sayyaf Group in the country.

The President expressed concern the country might not have a “comfortable tomorrow” unless the internal security threats aggravated by the IS-affiliated Abu Sayyaf terrorists are resolved.

“They will never find peace with the threat of ISIS looming in the horizon. May Abu Sayyaf diyan, it’s affiliated with the ISIS. Do you think we will have a comfortable tomorrow?” the President said during a recent visit to a military camp in Davao del Norte.

It was the first time the President publicly linked the Abu Sayyaf criminals to the IS militant group involved in violent extremism abroad.

Earlier, the President has directed security forces to crush the Abu Sayyaf Group for their involvement in many atrocities in the south, including the beheading of foreign hostages.

Duterte said the Abu Sayyaf Group is excluded from the government’s peace efforts since they are criminals and are not fighting for any ideology.

Apart from the ASG problem, the President mentioned the communist insurgency and the drug problem as other threats endangering the country’s peace and security.

Duterte earlier tried to persuade communist rebels to reciprocate the government truce last week. The communists, however, refused to forge a ceasefire, prompting the President to lift the truce imposed last July 25. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)