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No ISIS presence in PHL – AFP, PNP

The Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police insisted Wednesday that there is no presence of the terror group ISIS in the country.

"We don't have ISIS in the Philippines," Col. Edgard Arevalo, AFP public affairs office chief, told reporters.

Arevalo said what the government troops encountered in Marawi City was a local terror group which is using the incident to get recognition from ISIS.

"Ginagamit nila ang mga insidenteng ito upang sila ay i-recognize. These groups who are claiming to be ISIS, they are merely courting the acclamation of ISIS na hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa rin nila nakukuha kaya patuloy ang kanilang ginagawang atrocities," he said.

In a separate press briefing, PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos said the Maute group is not an ISIS group.

"It is not an ISIS group, it is a local terror group. Walang ISIS dito. They are not even recognized yet by ISIS," he said.

Carlos reiterated that the Marawi City incident was initiated by the PNP and AFP in running after Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon.

"It is a joint operation to arrest Isnilon Hapilon. The action came from the government," he said. — RSJ, GMA News