The city local government has been increasing security measures in resisting with violent extremism. According to an intelligence report that the government has been receiving the local terrorist Maute, ISIS-inspired group, is now aggressively spreading terrorism by recruiting new members of the local terrorist in Lanao del Norte and neighboring municipalities of Lanao del Sur.
City Police Director Police Senior Supt. Leony Roy Ga said fragments of the Maute group are reportedly recruiting new members in the neighboring municipalities and is now being headed by Owayda Benito Marohombasar alias Ustadz Huma/ Abdul Najid/ Abu Dar.
It has been reported that this group is spreading terroristic activities like kidnapping, harassment, bombing, and assassinations of personalities in the city of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro.
According to the AFP, the local terrorist group is widely recruiting individuals, teenagers (High school and college students), Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s), Members of families with “Rido” (Clan Feuds) history, children from orphanages and young professionals. These children will be brainwashed with doctrines and propaganda in contrary to the real situation such as Islam being under attack, and that the group (Maute) only desire change.
They mislead the new recruits saying that those who died and will die in this battle, die martyr, not beggars. Extremists offer hope of love and romance that will appeal to their youthful ideals and adventurous spirits.
These terrorists teach the young that the government does not want the Muslims to developed or be settled and that it is the government’s forces who destroyed the Islamic City of Marawi. The Armed Forces of the Philippines, 4th Mechanized Infantry Battalion and the 2nd Mechanized Brigade are initiating strategies in battling forceful extremism.
According to the AFP, the said ISIS-inspired group is roaming around Lanao del Sur. Though this hasn’t really reached Iligan city and other neighboring municipalities of Lanao del Norte yet, there are sightings, rumors, and intelligence reports about their existence. The AFP advices that the people should be very vigilant around their communities. The AFP and the local government of Iligan and the province of Lanao del Norte should have concrete defenses to safeguard people in areas under their jurisdictions.
Members of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) terrorist groups are also cited in most of the remote areas and boundaries of Iligan City. Just recently, the Philippine National Police received a report about 50 communist-terrorist members who were fully armed at the forested area of Tikala, the boundary of Tagoloan 2 and Kapai Lanao del Sur.
On April this year, five (5) members of the Special Partisan Unit (SPARU) were detected at Purok 7- Barangay Ubaldo De Laya this city. The said members of the CPP-NPA communists’ members were said to establish a base in this city.
A group of communist terrorist members led by alias Kiram armed with AK47 was reportedly sighted at Kanibong, Rogongon this city.
According to the police report, the group left the area on April 12, 2018, going to Lanao del Sur boundaries due to rigid military operations.
The local government under the administration of Mayor Celso G. Regencia, Vice Mayor Jemar Vera Cruz and the 16th council has been giving priorities on the peace and order situation of the city.
They have provided the police ten (10) police patrol vehicles to rove around the city, local police constructed police and military mobile checkpoints. The local government designated three (3) strong checkpoints within the boundaries of Lanao del Norte, inducted force multipliers, police mobile force conducted major operations in hinterlands and remote areas of Iligan City.
Just recently, the local government of Iligan through the initiative of Mayor Regencia, the city was able to acquire 6 machineguns attached to six (6) 4x4 pick-up vehicles. According to the City Director PS/Supt. Leony Roy Ga, the said machineguns will be designated in most of the entry and exit points of Iligan City.
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