Terrorism All for Money -- Report

Manila Bulletin, June 3, 2013 | Go to article overview

Terrorism All for Money -- Report


Manila, Philippines -- In the Philippines, it's all for the money, at least where terrorist acts are concerned.

The United States Department of State, in its 2012 Country Report on Terrorism, said such criminal activities here like kidnapping for ransom or extortion, are designed to generate revenue for self-sustainment.

Terrorist groups here have been suspected to have carried out bombings against government, public and private facilities primarily in the central and western areas of Mindanao in 2012; others were linked to extortion operations in other parts of the country.

However, strong counterterrorism cooperation with the U.S. has enabled the Philippines to successfully constrain the ability of terrorist groups, including the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), and the Communist People's Party/New People's Army (CPP/NPA) in conducting their criminal activities.

The report, submitted by the State Department to the US Congress last Friday as required by law, the Philippines continued to implement its 2011-2016 Internal Peace and Security Plan calling for the transition of internal security functions from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

It pointed out that the increasing role of the police in maintaining internal security in conflict-affected areas will permit the AFP to shift focus to enhancing the country's maritime security and territorial defense capabilities.

The same report also cited the signing last October 15, 2012 of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro by the peace panels of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front signed which lays a roadmap to a comprehensive peace agreement and calls for the creation of the Bangsamoro entity to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

It pointed out that the comprehensive peace agreement has the potential to improve peace and security in Mindanao.

The report further noted that the Philippines remains an important partner nation in the Department of State's Anti-terrorism Assistance program, which has provided tactical and investigative training to support the transition in the southern Philippines from a military to civilian counterterrorism authority.

The Philippines was noted as a member of the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), a Financial Action Task Force (FATF)-style regional body. …

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