EastMinCom: No movement of ISIS-linked group in Davao

THE MILITARY’S Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) said it doesn’t monitor in its area any movement of the group of Malaysian militant leader Amir Baco, tagged as the new emir of the ISIS-inspired extremists in Southeast Asia.

Still, the command is strengthening the border security in Davao Gulf to preempt any terrorist group from entering the region.

“(In our) monitoring, we don’t receive any reports that there is a movement of the group of Baco in our area,” Major Ezra Balagtey,  the EastMinCon spokesperson told reporters in a press briefing held at Task Force Davao headquarters.

Saying that their mandate is to prevent spillover of terrorism in Davao area, Balagtey is encouraging the participation of the community to report any suspicious and unidentified individuals in the area.

Despite reports that Baco has been declared as the new emir of the ISIS-inspired group in Southeast Asia, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Tuesday that group remains “leaderless” following the death of Isnilon Hapilon who was killed by state troops in Marawi City.

Balagtey said Martial Law is still in effect in Mindanao to prevent any spillover.

Meanwhile, Lt. Col. Randolph Cabangbang, the newly appointed deputy commander of Task Force Davao, said they are continuously coordinating with other intelligence groups to gather further information and ensure that terror group could not enter the city.

 “We continue to strengthen the checkpoints in the entry and exits in the city,” Cabangbang said. “Let’s just continue to support it and be patient (because) the delay is for our own good.”

 The official also said the alertness and vigilance of the public is also needed.

“If everyone knows what to do then we are limiting the movement of terrorists,” he said adding that TF Davao commander Col.  Nolasco Mempin has directed them to make further plans against threat groups.

 For now, he said they have been conducting training of additional militiamen to strengthen the checkpoints in the city.

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