|Philippines President Duterte|
By Paolo Romero
MANILA, Philippines - President Duterte warned congressional leaders of a new Islamic State (IS)-inspired terror threat in Mindanao that could be “bigger” than the attack on Marawi City, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said yesterday.
Duterte raised the specter of more terror attacks in Mindanao during a hastily called three-hour meeting with leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives on Tuesday night in Malacañang.
Aside from Sotto, also present during the meeting were Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas and Senators Francis Escudero, Sonny Angara and Panfilo Lacson.
Sotto said the way he understood it, around three areas in Mindanao are under threat from IS-inspired Maute, which is being supported by other extremist groups like the Abu Sayyaf and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
“The security situation will be very serious if we don’t confront it now, nip it in the bud. I think that is the message of the President, what he wanted to relay to us. He wanted us to support and help him nip it in the bud so that it does not escalate into a larger problem than what we have now in Marawi City,” Sotto told reporters.
Maute militants undertook a massive attack on Marawi City last May 23, prompting Duterte to declare martial law over Mindanao.
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