Malacañang on Tuesday belied reports that there are jihadist training camps in the country, particularly in Mindanao.
Quoting National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said “ISIS has no training camps in the Philippines,” referring to the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
“What ISIS-linked personalities have done is to try to link up with local jihadist/terrorist groups,” Coloma told reporters.
“Some of these ISIS-linked personalities, who are really few in number, have also sought refuge in the base areas of these local terrorist groups,” he said.
Earlier, the Daily Mail Online reported that a propaganda video purportedly released by the terror group shows a training camp has been set up in a Philippine jungle.
The video surfaced a month after eight members of an ISIS-inspired group were killed in a clash with the Philippine military in Sultan Kudarat in southern Mindanao.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief ofstaff, Gen. Hernando Iriberri, had said members of the Ansar Al-Khilafah Philippines or AKP,with which the AFP clashed, killing eight of its members including an Indonesian, has no connection with ISIS.
The military and the police have conducted law enforcement operation on November 26 against AKP on complaints of criminal activities in Sultan Kudarat.
The AFP guarantees that it is exerting all efforts together with other security forces to neutralize lawless elements in the country.