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Nat’l intel agency sees more suicide bombings happening in PHL
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Nat’l intel agency sees more suicide bombings happening in PHL

August 14 ------ More suicide bombings may take place in the Philippines, the head of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency has said. According to Jun Veneracion's report on "State of the Nation with Jessica Soho", this is based on terrorist movement that the agency has monitored. "Almost every six months we had one incident. We pray that none will follow but we are sure that there will be," NICA Director-General Alex Paul Monteagudo told GMA News.

"The terrorists are training and recruiting children as young as 10, 12 years old," he added.  The first suicide bombing incident recorded by the military in the country was in Basilan on July 2018. In January 2019, another suicide bomb attack transpired at a cathedral in Jolo, Sulu. An Indonesian couple was allegedly behind the suicide bombing, according to authorities. Another blast happened in Indanan, Sulu on June 28 this year. One of the two suspected suicide bombers was confirmed to be a Filipino.

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said that there are vulnerable sectors that must be carefully guarded so that they would not be recruited by terrorists. These include students attending madrasah or Islamic schools, religious leaders, overseas Filipino workers, prisoners, and even netizens. The proposal of granting powers to law enforcers to hold a terror suspect for a period of 14 days sans formal complaints is also being discussed in the Senate to add more teeth to the Human Security Act of 2007.

Under existing laws, a terror suspect may only be held in custody for 36 hours if there are no formal charges filed against him or her. The Department of National Defense proposed to extend it up to 60 days. "Sixty days, that's quick. Two months lang po 'yun Mr. Chairman just to give them time, more time to develop their case," Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said. The NICA seconded the proposal. "If you let them loose, they are going to infect the rest of the society, they are going to radicalize children. And therefore we need laws that will allow us to hold them longer," Monteagudo said.

Source: gmanetwork.com