By Jeffrey Damicog
One of three suspected terrorists has appeared before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to clear her name, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Tuesday (August 13).
“There were three names floated as potential terrorists from an Asian country planning to enter the Philippines,” Guevarra revealed in response to reports that Sri Lankan suicide bombers were already in the country.
Citing reports he received from the Bureau of Immigration (BI), Guevarra said “two of them have no arrival records.”
“Only one, a woman, is already here, but has presented herself to the NBI and has disavowed any terrorist connection,” he disclosed.
Meanwhile, Guevarra has assured that the BI was closely watching the country’s air and seaports against the entry of suspected terrorists.
“In any event, the BI’s anti-terror group is on the alert regarding further movements of these persons,” he stated.
“The NBI has been earlier directed by the DOJ to do its own probe, particularly in Northern Luzon,” he added.
Guevarra, himself, gave the directive to the NBI to coordinate with other intelligence agencies to verify the alleged entry of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria)-affiliated terrorists into the country.
The Northern Luzon Command (NolCom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was reported to have tightened security in several areas in the region, particularly the Manaog church in Pangasinan and other places of worship, because of threats of a terror attack.
An alert memo was reportedly issued in connection with “Crusader City” and “Crusader Churches” as targets of attacks by the terrorists.
Reported to be possible targets were Laoag City in Ilocos Norte, Vigan City in Ilocos Sur, Tuguegarao City in Cagayan, and Manaog in Pangasinan.