Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says the implementation of peace in Mindanao will prevent the rising influence of Islamic State jihadists from entering Southeast Asia.
The Malaysian government is brokering negotiation deals between Manila and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), citing the massive kidnapping spree from the Abu Sayyaf, a group which has pledged allegiance with the Islamic State.
Najis said in a message, “The peace accord will not only bring peace and stability in Mindanao but will also insulate Southeast Asia from threats by the militant groups.” The message was read by his deputy defence minister during a meeting of MILF Officials and Filipinos in Malaysia.
“The continuation of the peace process is also important to Malaysia and the region because of the rising influence of Daesh (IS),” Najib said.
“Peace in southern Philippines will be beneficial not only to the Philippines but to Malaysia and other countries in the region.”
MILF chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim shared his concerns, saying that there were reports of groups inspired by IS already in Mindanao, even as the group has yet to establish its presence there.
Sources outside the peace negotiations say that ISIS has already infiltrated several regions of Mindanao and are known throughout other cities and regions of the Philippines.
Just recently sitting vice-Mayor of Davao City, Palo Duterte, told reporters that IS has infiltrated Davao City.