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New AFP chief warns IS still in PH

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Zamboanga City — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has alerted all military units to monitor the presence of Islamic State (IS)-inspired groups in their respective areas of jurisdiction.

This was disclosed on Monday by Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero, newly installed AFP chief-of-staff, citing terror threat still exists in the country.

Guerrero was here for his first command visit after he assumed as the new and 49th AFP chief-of-staff on Thursday, October 26.

“Before the Marawi (fighting broke out), we have already monitored that they are moving around the country,” Guerrero disclosed.

“It is highly possible that they have been able to go around to other areas as well,” he added.

He said they are working with all concerned stake holders to prevent and counter violent extremism and to ensure IS ideology is not being spread to the other parts of the Philippines.

“Not for now. But we are not discounting the possibility,” he replied when as about terrorists’ threat to attack other areas in the country.

Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief, said religious leaders and local government units have joined forces to prevent the infiltration of terrorists in their respective localities.

“They don’t want to experience similar to what happened in Marawi City,” Galvez added.

Guerrero was given honors upon his arrival at Camp Basilio Navarro that houses the Westmincom headquarters in this city.

He met in a closed-door command conference with the unit commanders of Westmincom to be abreast of the prevailing situation in the region.

He relayed to the troops the programs of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for the AFP during the “talk to the men” activity that followed the conference.

Guerrero, accompanied by other AFP officials, later partook of a boodle fight lunch with the officers, men and civilians employees of Westmincom.

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