CALOOCAN CITY, June 29 (PIA) -- Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has underscored the need to "enhance our measures" against terrorist threats following the neutralization of suspected terror group members in Parañaque City Friday past midnight.
"I commend the elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police who conducted a successful law enforcement operation earlier today, 26 June 2020, that resulted in the neutralization of four terrorists. The presence of these terrorists in the NCR [National Capital Region] highlights the need for us to enhance our measures against those who intend to bring harm to our people," Lorenzana told the PIA-NCR in a statement.
"A law such as the Anti-Terrorism Bill of 2020 will give our law enforcers greater capacity to stop these terrorists and prevent them from wreaking havoc in our communities," the official added.
In a report by the Philippine News Agency, four alleged members of the ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria)-inspired Daulah Islamiyah terror group were killed in a shootout with police and military troops in Barangay Don Bosco.
Killed in the operation were Merhama Abdul Sawari, Bensaudi Sali, Rasmin Hussin, and Jamal Kalliming.
The operation was conducted by virtue of a search warrant against Sali issued by the Parañaque City Regional Trial Court Branch 258 for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.
The suspects immediately fired shots at arresting officers, prompting them to return fire.
Authorities seized various handguns, explosive devices, ISIS flags, and records of financial transactions.
The group was tagged as a financial conduit of the ISIS in East Asia due to their connection with Daulah Islamiyah bomb expert and sub-leader Mundi Sawadjaan, one of the masterminds behind the twin bombing at the Jolo Cathedral in Sulu in January 2019.
Authorities said Sawari was the facilitator of financial support coming from Indonesia. (PIA NCR)