THE doctor charged in the United States for plotting a bomb attack in New York City is providing financial and material support to the Islamic State-linked Maute terrorists in Marawi City, a spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Monday.
“They are believed to be providing support financially and materially to the Maute group and he (Salic) is known by the nickname of ‘Doctor’,” Maj. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr., said in an interview over dzMM.
Padilla was referring to Russel Langi Salic, the 37 year-old doctor now in the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Padilla’s statement comes after Armed Forces Chief Eduardo Ano said on Sunday that AFP had no information of Salic’s support to local terrorists.
Padilla also admitted that the Philippines has become the “breeding ground” of terrorists.
“It is true that the Philippines has become breeding ground of terrorists because we have a weak law on this. In Singapore and Malaysia, their law against terrorism is much stronger,” Padilla said.
He made the admission after Salic himself, through his conversation with an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), said that the Philippines has been mellow in fighting terrorism unlike in other countries.
AFP Chief Eduardo Año said on Sunday that Salic has been under the custody of the NBI since April. He clarified that the surgeon was not related to former Marawi mayor Solitario Salic, who was included in the drug matrix of President Rodrigo Duterte. DEMPSEY REYES