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PNP keeping Mindanao secure to avoid Afghan conflict spillover

PNP keeping Mindanao secure to avoid Afghan conflict spillover

THURSDAY, August 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Police are maintaining the peace and security situation in Mindanao as they look to avoid a spillover of the civil unrest in Afghanistan.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said on Wednesday that local terrorist groups might be influenced by what the Taliban did in Afganistan, as they were able to seize control of the entire country, including Kabul, from the Afghan government and U.S. troops.

However, he assured the public that the police force was in control of the situation in the southern regions.

“Sa ngayon, maayos at kontrolado natin ang sitwasyon doon. Patuloy ang ating koordinasyon sa militar para magbantay at  matiyak na hindi makapagsasagawa ng anumang pag-atake ang mga local terrorist groups sa Mindanao,” Eleazar said.

“I assure the public that the police and military will not allow a spillover of the Afghan conflict. Hindi namin hahayaan na makapaghasik ng kaguluhan sa bansa ang mga lokal na terorista para sabayan ang gulo sa Afghanistan,” he added.

The situation is unclear in Kabul and across Afghanistan since the Taliban took control after almost 20 years since the US-led allied forces overthrew the government.

Taliban forces marched into Kabul, causing panic among civilians, who gathered at airports to get flights out of the country.  Women have feared for their lives because the militant group has a history of committing brutal human rights violations and mistreating them.

However, the Taliban has vowed to observe a peaceful transition.

Eleazar said that the PNP would stay alert to prevent similar incidents in Mindanao, a region rocked by insurgency and separatist movements.

Earlier, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reminded Filipinos still in Afghanistan to coordinate with the foreign service as Alert Level 4 remains in the Middle Eastern country.

Under Alert Level 4, mandatory repatriation for all Filipinos in the area is in place.  According to the latest DFA estimates, there are still 132 Filipinos in Afghanistan.