The Philippine Star
Esperon briefs UN body on Phl anti-terror plan
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. laid down before the United Nations anti-terror body in New York City the Philippine government’s strategy to combat terrorism in the country.
Speaking before the first UN High-Level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies and Members States at the UN headquarters, Esperon, who is also director general of the National Security Council (NSC), said on Friday that the country considers the Islamic State (IS)-inspired Maute terror group and the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as the existing threat groups in the country.
The Mautes along with foreign terrorists attacked and occupied Marawi City in May last year in their bid to establish a caliphate state in Mindanao, while the NPA rebels have been included by the United States in the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO).
Esperon, leading a high-level delegation to the UN body, said the county has been taking the necessary steps in fighting terrorism, consistent with the UN Global Counterterrorism Strategy.
These include, he said, strengthening engagements with local and international bodies relative to anti-money laundering and terrorism financing, implementing the conventions related to the chemical and biological weapons as well as developing strong relations with the International Police (Interpol).
He also told the UN body that in wake of the Marawi siege by the Maute group, efforts on the domestic front were focused on strengthening the country’s anti-terrorism law, investigation and prosecution of personalities in the UN sanctions and national lists, implementing a national action plan in preventing and counter violent extremism and fast-tracking the rehabilitation and rebuilding city.
He, however, did not mention that the government, from the Marawi siege to the present, has placed the entire Mindanao under martial law in order to prevent the escalation of the Marawi conflict to other areas as well as to effect the immediate arrest by government security forces of fleeing terrorists. of the warravaged