Sun Star Cagayan de Oro – Marcos: Pamatong’s group not a security threat

By Alyssa C. Clenuar | Sun Star Cagayan de Oro

SunStarCDOA SENATOR has assured the public, especially the people in Mindanao, that there will be no breach of security in the island because of the presence of the United States Allied Freedom Fighters of the East (USAFFE) despite the alleged involvement of some of its members in carrying out a bomb attack plot at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) 3 early this week.

“I believe they are not a security threat to us,” Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said during his visit to Mindanao State University-Naawan campus on Thursday.

On Wednesday, USAFFE commander-in-chief and lawyer Ely Pamatong called a press conference to clear the issue on the ultra-rightist group’s involvement in the bombing at the parking area 35 of NAIA 3 last September 1.

Although the group denied its direct participation in the incident, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the group may be out to cause destabilization in the country.

De Lima believes the group is just “misguided,” referring to the USAFFE’s claims of “defenders of the Filipino people and considers China and ‘oligarch taipans engaged in monopolistic business practices and illegal mining’ as their enemies.

Although the accusations against Pamatong and his members’ act were untrue, he believes it was “retaliation” against China and the incident was to show protection over the Philippine territory against its invaders.

However, Marcos believes the group was just scene-stealing and that the public has nothing to fear of.

“I think it is just a small group that has its own specific agenda. Nothing much to worry about,” Marcos told the reporters.

“I do not believe that it will destabilize the government and the peace and order in a way. I think it is more than a fact that it was just a publicity stunt for them to be able to voice out their thoughts,” he added.

Meanwhile, Pamatong was released from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) detention cell on Friday.

His release had nothing to do with the NAIA incident on Monday as he posted bail for cases of malicious mischief and inciting to sedition in connection with the scattering of metal spikes on Edsa, Metro Manila’s main highway in 2004, NBI Director Virgilio Mendez said.

He was arrested on Wednesday at the airport.

After his release, Pamatong visited the three suspects in the botched airport bombing who are members of USAFFE.

USAFFE was also supposed to attack the Chinese Embassy, Mall of Asia owned by Filipino-Chinese billionaire Henry Sy, and the office of construction giant DMCI.

The group is said to be protesting the government’s alleged weak stance in the territorial dispute with China in the oil-rich Spratlys.

The NBI is still investigating Pamatong’s role in the bombing attempt.

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