MANILA (Mabuhay) – Malacañang on Saturday said it will ask the appropriate agencies to verify reports that Filipino militants are going to Iraq and Syria to fight with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Bureau of Immigration is “very alert” when it comes to those supposed to be leaving for destinations like Iraq and Syria.
“We’ll ask them to take a look into news reports that have been surfacing,” she said on government-run dzRB radio.
She said the government has been alert after learning of such Filipinos heading for Iraq and Syria.
“That’s why our BI [Bureau of Immigration] is very alert when it comes to those who are supposed to be either going to Iraq, Syria or other transit points. Ayaw nating madamay sila,” she said.
A report in the Philippine Daily Inquirer cited a report to officials including Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. indicating Filipinos are among the Southeast Asians being lured to conflict zones in the Middle East.
Earlier this week, the Commission on Elections approved the recommendation of the Department of Foreign Affairs to suspend overseas voter registration in five hotspots including Iraq and Syria.
Comelec spokesman James Arthur Jimenez said the Comelec has approved the recommendation of the DFA to suspend voter registration in Libya, Syria, Iraq, the Gaza Strip and the Ukraine.
Earlier, the DFA recommended the immediate suspension of overseas voters registration in the five areas considered areas due to the tension there. (MNS)