From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Jul 9): No Muslim Filipinos in ISIS, Defense exec assures
An official from the Department of National Defense assured that there are no Islamic Filipinos who joined Jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and Al Sham.
Speaking on condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to media, the official said there are no validated reports that 200 Muslim Filipinos went to Iraq to join ISIS.
He added that the figure of 200 Muslims are not Filipinos, but Australians.
“We don’t have reports pertaining to that, there are no validated reports,” he said.
“From what I heard there are 200 Australian Muslims fighting side-by-side with ISIS.”
“The Filipinos we have there (Iraq and Syria) are overseas Filipino workers,” he explained.
He added that Filipinos in Iraq are working in government facilities and are not fighting with the Jihadists.
ISIS has plagued Iraq that resulted in the intra-Islam fighting in the country.
Also, the Defense official said the 200 number is too far-fetched as he assured that the government is strictly monitoring Filipinos leaving for Iraq.
For easy and smooth conduct of the information campaign, there were four clusters organized in Basilan. On July 1, 2014, human resource mapping information drive was held at Tipo-Tipo Municipality where the municipalities are Albaraka, Ungkaya Pukan & Tipo-Tipo where merged into one cluster. Cluster two (2) includes Tuburan, Akbar, Muhammad Ajul Municipalities including Lamitan City where the activity was held on July 3, while cluster three (3) was held in Sumisip on July 4. It included Tabuan-Lasa Municipality. Cluster four (4) was conducted on July 7 at Geras Village Barangay Sumagdang, Isabela City. It is composed of the municipalities Maluso, Lantawan and Muhtamad.
In the opening message Tony Sakkalahul, Regional Manager of BDA ZamBas said "The inventory of the Bangsamoro professionals is so crucial in preparation for the upcoming Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) in 2015".
In his message, Majid Nur, BLMI Steering Committee member reminded the participants that Bangsomoro professional human resource mapping is not an opportunity for jobs but rather a database so that in the event that the Bangsamoro needs a particular specialization it would be easy to locate and identify who that person is.
Registrants trooped to the venues where more than 100 individuals signed on the official form. Target participants were put at 80 but with information drive made live on the air through the BTC on-the-Air Program many got interested and showed up.
Enlightened by different groups and BTC-partner NGOs tasked to undertake information drive, more individuals are expected to register through the standard form or the wwwbangsamoroprofessional.org website. Bangsamoro professionals are hopeful that they can also avail of scholarships offered to Bangsamoros in prestigious universities in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, etc.