Published December 3, 2016 7:59pm
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On the heels of the Maute local terrorist group's threat to behead him and the military, President Rodrigo Duterte warned the public of the looming threat of terrorism.
"Then I’d like to warn you in the coming days. We will be facing a serious problem, aside from drugs. Okay na ‘yung drugs. Hayaan mo na lang ‘yung mga operating units," Duterte said in his speech at the Highway Patrol Group's closing ceremony of motorcycle riding course in Davao City on Friday.
"But be prepared for something else, it’s terrorism. It will come and I will make the statement after I shall have gone back to Manila to confer —Medyo ano talaga tayo… be prepared," he noted.
The President said that the Philippines shall be prepared for the persistance of terrorism in the next two or three years. "‘Yan ang danger nakikita namin, maybe the next two, three years. Bantay kayo. Kalaban mo diyan... ‘Yan ang pinaka-delikado kasi ano eh," he said.
Duterte added that the police and the military must be vigilant in terrorists' activities because they work in small numbers.
"Apat, lima, anim lang ‘yan, but it would require so many human intelligence," he said. The Islamic State-influenced Maute group occupied the old municipal building and about 85 to 90 percent of Butig town in Lanao del Sur late November.
After a week-long offensive against the Maute Group, the Armed Forces of the Philippines announced that it has taken back control of Butig where the bandits had raised the black ISIS flag.
Before fleeing the town of Butig, the Maute group left a "parting message" threatening to behead not only the troops they were engaged in a firefight with, but also President Duterte.
Last week, Duterte said he was worried of the possibility of ISIS members transferring to the Philippines and other parts of Asia, including Malaysia and Indonesia. He said that the ISIS had declared "the kingdom of the caliphate" in the Philippines.
"We try to avoid the contamination of ISIS. What we are afraid of is if the ISIS are pushed out and they lose a landmass, kailngan ka magluto, makiligo, they will try to come to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines because they have declared the caliphate, the kingdom of the caliphate dito," the President said. Authorities had suspected that members of the Maute Group were responsible for the deadly night market bombing in Davao City last September.