THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is validating reports of two Sri Lankan suicide bombers now in the country and planning attacks on churches in Northern Luzon.
AFP spokesman Marine Brig.General Edgard Arevalo said the reports need to be validated with other government agencies.
“We have to validate that report with other agencies of government. The information immediately available are reports coming from media,” Arevalo said.
Arevalo said some information regarding the matter is being checked by the AFP.
“We already have some information that we are checking with another agency,” he said.
In line with this, Arevalo urged the public to remain calm and just continue their routine.
“We urge the public to remain calm and continue their routine. But they should remain vigilant and alert,” he said.
He also asked the public to report suspicious people or activities to the AFP and Philippine National Police.
The statement was made following published reports that two terrorists from Sri Lanka have snuck into the Philippines to train local militants on making bombs and attacking churches and other soft targets in the country’s north.
The same reports said that a watch list from the Manila International Airport Authority identified the two as Mark Kevin Samhoon and Victoria Sophia Sto. Domingo. Both were tagged as “suicide bombers,” with kin in the Philippines.
Samhoon has ties to the National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ), the terrorist group accused of carrying out the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka in April this year that killed at least 250 people.
According to the report Samhoon’s mother is a Filipino working as a maid in Dubai.
The report also said that Samhoon and Sto. Domingo were already with a faction of Filipino militants in Luzon with links to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
A group called Suyuful Khilafa Fi Luzon, formed by remnants of the Rajah Sulaiman Islamic Movement, is purportedly planning to bomb churches in Luzon, with help from Samhoon and Sto. Domingo.