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IS threat in Davao? If I die, babay na lang

IS threat in Davao? If I die, babay na lang thumbnail

Fatalistic about his safety, President Duterte brushed aside yesterday reported death threats and said the Vice President would continue the fight against illegal drugs if he is killed.

“I’m confident God will decide everything. If God does not want me to die, I will not die. If God wants me out of the scene, I will be gone. So babay na lang (that’s a goodbye),” Duterte said when asked on state-run PTV 4 from Malacañang to comment on reports about the Islamic State (IS) planning an attack in his home city of Davao. He was to leave last night for Davao City.

Duterte said he is aware of reports that some illegal drug personalities are raising more than P1 billion to have him assassinated.

“You have your Vice President…that is why we have a vice president. There is always this rule of succession,” Duterte said.

Duterte expressed confidence that even if he will be out of the picture, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police will not take the issue on illegal drugs “sitting down.”

“Even if I’m gone, they will not allow these animals… Leni Robredo becomes president (and she) will also be harsh (because) we’re talking about the welfare of the country,” he said.

He said those involved in kidnap-for-ransom syndicates have shifted to the illegal drug trade because it is easier to do and less risky.

Duterte again called for the reimposition of the death penalty in the country, saying the criminals can always choose to shift from one operation to another without threat of capital punishment.

He believes the lack of the death penalty is the “meat of the problem.”

Duterte was reacting to a question on his security, particularly on his going home to Davao City in the wake of threats of Islamic State (IS) militants.

His son, Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte yesterday revealed the city is facing threats from the IS.

Duterte, the presidential son who is now the acting city mayor, said he has already ordered the police and military to beef up security and intensify intelligence gathering to avert possible attacks.

The younger Duterte said he has some information about the whereabouts of the group linked with the IS but refused to give specific details.

“We are intensifying the gathering of information. We cannot disclose details or confirm anything as yet,” he said.

The vice mayor said that he has coordinated with the city’s anti-terrorism group, Task Force Davao, the Davao City Police Office and the military’s Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) to get more information about the threat.

Davao City police chief Senior Supt. Michael Dubria said they would look further into the intelligence report and make sure the necessary security measures are in place.

Dubria said the city has also been on heightened alert since it is the hometown of President Duterte, who goes home every weekend.

“We also factor it in, that since the President is also from Davao City. That is why there is also that threat,” Dubria said.

He said authorities are now validating the reports.

Eastmincom commander Lt. Gen. Leonardo Ray Guerrero said the military is coordinating with police counterparts to verify the threats.

Guerrero said they have no information that would confirm the supposed presence of IS terrorists in the city.

But just the same, Eastmincom has raised and intensified its security monitoring in the city, he said.

“Being a progressive city and the place of residence of the President, we expect the level of threats will also go higher. Also, the city is celebrating the yearly Kadayawan Festival next month,” Guerrero said.

“As far as we are concerned, we don’t have any information on any direct threat coming from IS in the city,” he added.

Source: Philippine Star


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