By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang commended the security forces who were able to foil a planned terrorist attack in Parañaque City last week, emphasizing that the country still needs to be ready for them.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after the four suspected ISIS-linked Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorists were gunned down in a joint police and military raid in Don Bosco, Parañaque on Friday.
In his Monday presser, Roque praised the law enforcers for their “very good” work.
“We commend our law enforcement agencies for their very good intel work that prevented yet another terrorist attack,” he said.
Roque reiterated that the country needs to be ready for terrorists.
“Gaya nga po ng sinasabi namin, ang terorista po talaga (Like we’ve been saying, terrorists, really)—we can never predict when they will strike,” he said.
“But when they do, we need to be ready for them,” he added.
The police identified the suspects as Bensaudi Sali alias “Boy,” 37; his reported wife Merhama Abdul Sawari alias “Mheng,” around 40 to 45 years old; Rasmin Hussin alias “Boscon;” and Jamal Kalliming alias “Pando.”
Metro Manila Police chief Police Major General Debold Sinas earlier said that joint units from the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), Parañaque City police, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and National Intelligence Coordination Agency (NICA) were serving a search warrant at the house of Sali in Better Living Subdivision around 12:30 a.m. when they were met with gunfire.
The suspects reportedly tried to lob a grenade at the police and military but it went off prematurely. The security forces retaliated which led to the killing of the suspects.
The operation stemmed from the intelligence information they received about the presence of a group of Dawlah Islamiyah, a faction of the ASG, acting as a financial conduit in Paranaque City beginning in November 2019.
The operation came at a time when President Duterte is having his legal team review the proposed Anti-Terror Bill which is controversial for its supposedly unconstitutional provisions.