By Jeffrey Damicog
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has been ordered on Tuesday (August 13) to look into the possible entry of foreign terrorists who are allegedly planning attacks in Northern Luzon.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra himself gave the directive through Department Order No. 413 dated August 13.
In his department order, Guevarra told the NBI “to conduct an investigation and case build-up on the alleged entry into the country of foreign terrorists affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other violent extremist groups, and their alleged plan to conduct terror attacks in Northern Luzon and, if evidence warrants, to file the appropriate charges against persons found responsible therefor.”
“Further, Director [Dante] Gierran is hereby directed to submit an initial report on the progress of the subject investigation and case build-up directly to the Office of the Secretary before 31 August 2019, and thereafter, to submit periodic reports thereon,” Guevarra added.
Guevarra acted on President Duterte’s apprehensions aired several days ago over the possibility of ISIS attacks in the country.
The President even prayed that the Philippines be spared from the “brutality and cruelty” that has been happening in Iraq and Syria.
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 Manaoag church in Pangasinan and other places of worship.
Specifically, 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 target areas are Laoag City in Ilocos Norte, Vigan City in Ilocos Sur, Tuguegarao City in Cagayan, and Manaoag in Pangasinan.