Duterte: Muslim youths from Davao, among ISIS recruits

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte confirms that some of the alleged recruits of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), now calling itself as the Islamic State (IS), come from Davao City, following earlier reports that the terrorist group recruited at least 100 Filipinos.

The mayor expressed concern over these reports, which came from a reliable source he wouldn’t name, but is said to be someone “in the information loop”, says a report on Business World Online.

Although Duterte confirms that some Davao youth are among the recruits, he refused to identify the people involved in the alleged recruitment as well as elaborate on how this activity is being effected in the country.

The mayor is not sure whether the Muslim recruits are already in Iraq or Syria to undergo training, but hopes they would fight for real religious reasons, not for hatred as is being done by the terrorist groups.

Duterte: Muslim youths from Davao, among ISIS recruits
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte
Photo credit: Rappler

Ateneo de Davao’s Al Qalam Institute for Islamic Identities and Dialogue in Southeast Asia executive director Datu Mussolini Lidasan also confirms the alleged recruitment, saying a lot of young people from other parts of Mindanao were reportedly recruited by IS.

Youth coming from Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Basilan, and Zamboanga were among those who are said to be traveling to Iraq and Syria to join the Muslim extremist group, he revealed in the Business World Online report.

It was former President Fidel Ramos who first revealed about the youth being recruited and trained by IS.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) claims there were no recruits and that the “pledge of allegiance” made by local terrorist groups are mere propaganda, according to an earlier report on Kicker Daily News, but Duterte said it was but understandable they would release such a statement because the sources of information are “raw reports”.

Mayor Duterte said he respects the decision of these youth who are joining the IS group.  He also asserts that Islam is a good religion and that he is not trying to condemn anybody’s own decision over this religious matter.

He hopes, however, that the youth would change their minds and talk to him over a ‘cup of coffee’, a report on blog 2ngaw said.