Australian envoy's statement on terrorists' regrouping in Mindanao verifies what govt knows, Palace says
The statement of Australia's envoy to the Philippines regarding the alleged terrorists' regrouping in Mindanao has verified information that the government already has, Malacanang said on Monday.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque noted that the Armed Forces of the Philippines has this information and this what prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to ask Congress to further extend martial law in Mindanao until the end of the year.
"This latest statement of the Australian Ambassador only verifies what we already know ? that they (terrorists) are regrouping and recruiting more people," he said.
The Manila Times reported that Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely has said there was "evidence" showing terrorists who attacked Marawi City have been regrouping and they could strike elsewhere.
Gorely has said evidence based on intelligence has been shared with the Duterte administration.
Roque said the government security forces have been monitoring the situation in Mindanao.
"We are able and willing to deal with any new threats," he said.
Duterte has declared martial law in Mindanao following the terrorist attack in Marawi.
The siege lasted for five months until October last year. But despite liberating Marawi from the terrorists, Duterte sought congressional approval to further prolong martial law declaration in southern Philippines due to continued terrorist threats. Celerina Monte/DMS