Foreign countries’ involvement in PHL’s fight vs. terrorism part of addressing transnational crime – Malacanang exec

By , on February 18, 2015


Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. answers questions from the media in a press briefing on Malacanang Friday when he advised people to remain vigilant until the exit of Typhoon Yolanda from the Philippine area of responsibility. He also commended the people along the typhoon path for heeding the call of the government to evacuate and take the necessary precautions as the typhoon approached.  (Photo by Robert Viñas/Rodolfo Manabat/Malacanang Photo Bureau)
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. (Photo by Robert Viñas/Rodolfo Manabat/Malacanang Photo Bureau)

MANILA — Alleged involvement of the US in the Mamasapano incident has been questioned several times but an official of Malacanang said involvement of foreign government in transnational crime is just normal.

In a briefing Tuesday, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said involvement of foreign government or government’s in one country’s operations to arrest a suspect involved in transnational crime is allowed.

”By definition, kapag transnational crime it involves more than one nation, it involves crossing of boundaries and it involves sharing of information among countries na mayroong (who have) relevant information,” he said.

In the case of the Philippines, operations of the Philipine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last January 25 is targeted to arrest not only Filipino bomb maker Abdulbasit Usman but also his mentor, Malaysian Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as Marwan, reportedly a leader of the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiya (JI) who is being hunted by the US.

Marwan, whom the government said was killed during the police operation, has a USD 5 million bounty put up by the US government.

Coloma stressed that one should look at the context of the operation, which is to arrest a terrorism suspect, which is considered a transnational crime.

Suspected US participation in the Mamasapano incident have been included in the on-going investigations of the Senate.

The PNP has denied that the US has direct participation in the said operation and said that US’ involvement is only on training and equipment and information sharing.

With this, Coloma urged the public to let the on-going investigations continue since the issue has already been raised and taken into account by investigators.