PNP wants modern spying equipment amid game changing confirmation of Pinoy suicide bomber

Published July 11, 2019, 8:48 PM

by Martin Sadongdong & Antonio Colina

By Aaron Recuenco 

The Philippine National Police (PNP) urged Congress on Thursday to provide the government security agencies with modern intelligence equipment amid what it describes as continuously evolving terror threat in the country.

Philippine National Police Chief Director Oscar Albayalde (Kevin Tristan Espiritu / MANILA BULLETIN)
Philippine National Police Chief Director Oscar Albayalde
(Kevin Tristan Espiritu / MANILA BULLETIN)

PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said that the confirmation that one of the two suicide bombers who blew themselves off inside a military camp in Sulu was a Filipino is a manifestation of more problematic approaches in dealing with terrorism in the Philippines.

“This will definitely change the playing field. There was already an incident (of Filipino suicide bomber) and we cannot discount the possibility that there could be next,” said Albayalde.

“That’s why we have to address this radicalization process,” he added.

Based on the DNA testing made on the recovered body parts of one of the suicide bombers, the samples matched with a woman and a man who claimed that they are the mother and the brother, respectively. He was later identified as Norman Lacusa.

Authorities are yet to identify the second suicide bomber since some samples were taken from the dismembered body, there is no person to which those samples would be compared.

Three soldiers and three civilians died while 12 others were wounded during the bomb attack late last month.

Albayalde said one of the best measures to counter the radicalization process is the use of modern intelligence-gathering that technology could offer, considering also that the incidents in the past show that the radicalization process usually takes place via the internet.

“Our lawmakers should appreciate the fact that it is important that we have intelligence technical equipment,” said Albayalde.

He said no less than President Duterte was convinced of the threats when the Chief Executive declared that it would be dangerous times ahead. The President asked the police and the military to prepare.

“I have been telling that to Congress that we really have to prepare for this. I think no less than the President said that there are dangerous times ahead it’s because he foresees these kinds of global terrorism will not end in few years time,” said Albayalde.

“It will still evolve so we really need to face this head on. We need to face this with improved strategies and equipment and also the collaboration and cooperation with our counterparts,” he added.

While the past PNP leaderships had requested for the procurement of modern spying equipment, these requests are immediately shut down due to privacy issues. The spying equipment are also expensive.