Professor Banlaoi warns authorities of possible spillover of violence in Southern Philippines
MANILA – The chairman of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism, Dr. Rommel C. Banlaoi, warned that extremists may begin to make their presence felt in Mindanao as spillover of the takeover of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Speaking over Roundtable with Philippine Press Institute Wednesday mid-morning, Professor Banlaoi said different extremist groups turned to social media to congratulate the Taliban for its takeover of Afghanistan.
“While we have existing agreements with our neighbors, Indonesia and Malaysia to do patrols in the waters between the countries, these patrols are not joint patrols,” he said.
He said there have been instances when hardline leaders and extremists get into the country due to the long and porous borders.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police has assured everyone the situation in Mindanao remains under the control of state forces.
This was the assurance of PNP Chief General Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar as Professor Banlaoi underscored the possibility the conflict in Afghanistan could inspire local terrorist groups to attacks government and private installations.
General Eleazar, according to the PNP statement, said the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines are working together to prevent attacks by local terrorist groups.
“Today, we are in control of the situation and we are coordinating with other state forces to prevent whatever illegal and violent incidents due to these groups,” General Eleazar said in the PNP statement.
He added the PNP would be on full alert and further intensify intelligence gathering operations to prevent any spillover of violence from the restive Afghanistan. (Melo M. Acuña)
Prof. Rommel C. Banlaoi, Chairperson of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism. (Screen grab from Roundtable with Philippine Press Institute/Melo M. Acuna)