Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar on Sunday ordered police units to intensify offensive against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
Eleazar made the directive following Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.’s observation of heightened recruitment activities and increased attacks by the BIFF amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I agree with our Presidential Peace Adviser, Sec. Carlito Galvez, that it is easy now for the BIFF to recruit members because the pandemic has severely affected the livelihood of many people in Mindanao,” Eleazar said in a statement.
“The BIFF is taking advantage of hunger and the lack of job opportunities,” he added in Filipino.
He said to prevent the BIFF’s recruitment and attacks, the PNP will further enhance its intelligence operations against the group and conduct aggressive police operations.
“We will intensify the police presence as deterrence to what they are planning to do,” he said in Filipino.
Eleazar, however, said the PNP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) still need the public’s help to successfully stop the BIFF from getting more members.
“This needs a whole-of-nation approach. Aside from the police and military, other government agencies and stakeholders also have roles to play in preventing recruitment by the BIFF,” Eleazar explained.
Meanwhile, Eleazar said there was no failure of intelligence among state security forces as both the military and the police remain vigilant amid the pandemic.“Despite the pandemic, your police and the military are focused to maintain security of every community, and that’s includes monitoring the forces of the enemies. We have not and cannot let our guards down against these local terror groups,” Eleazar stressed in Filipino. SOVEREIGNPH