The Philippines was the fifth worst place in the world for terror attacks final yr, in keeping with the US State Department.
In its Country Reports on Terrorism 2016 launched this week, the State Department mentioned that 55 per cent of the world’s 11,072 terrorist attacks occurred in Iraq, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and the Philippines.
In response to the the discovering, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella mentioned the federal government was doing every thing it may to combat terrorism. He additionally mentioned the Duterte administration had adopted a “whole systems approach” to curb terrorism, together with efforts to alleviate poverty.
“We recognise that poverty in Mindanao and the sense of hopelessness it brings spawns terrorism,” he mentioned. “It is for this reason that while we are fighting terrorism, we are also fighting poverty.”
Mr Abella additionally informed the information convention that the president had authorized a complete peace roadmap that “aims to provide peace and development by addressing the issue on the Bangsamoro”.
‘Bangsamoro’ refers back to the proposed self-governing Muslim area that the president has lengthy dedicated to help.
“As they say, we can sign a hundred peace agreements but if those on the ground do not immediately feel the dividends of peace, those agreements will not be sustainable,” Mr Abella mentioned.
“In other words, what we are doing is really confronting it, engaging the situation with the whole systems approach.”
The State Department mentioned the emergence of terror teams affiliated with Islamic State (IS), persevering with kidnaps for ransom by Abu Sayyaf, bombings and frequent attacks on authorities forces “indicated that domestic and international terrorism remained a serious problem” in the Philippines.
The report comes because the battle to take again management of Marawi City from IS-linked militants enters its ninth week.
It additionally coincides with one other report by Jakarta-based Institute of Policy Analysis of Conflict warning that the protracted nature of the battle was prone to embolden islamists and result in additional terror attacks in the Philippines.
The US State Department report additionally identified that the president’s deal with eradicating unlawful medicine had “increased workload and operational tempo for security forces”.
The report additionally mentioned that the response to terrorist incidents was additionally hampered by the truth that a number of companies had jurisdiction over counterterrorism efforts.
“Responsibilities between law enforcement and military units involved in counterterrorism missions are often not clear, information sharing is moderate, and command and control arrangements often depend on personal relationships between incident commanders,” the State Department mentioned.
In the report, the State Department mentioned the US was working intently with the Philippines to observe and examine teams concerned in terrorism.
It additionally raised the priority that with the noose tightening on IS in the Middle East, there was a hazard of extra jihadists looking for a brand new stronghold in Mindanao.