Gov't says it will soon arrest terrorists' online supporter

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 13 2017 05:49 PM

MANILA – At least one person found to be committing “cyber sedition” will be arrested soon, Information and Communications Technology Secretary Rodolfo Salalima said Tuesday.

Salalima said, at least one person will soon be arrested for inciting rebellion through the internet.

“[When] you do sedition, [by inciting] people via internet, I call it cyber rebellion, cyber sedition,” Salalima said in a press briefing in Malacañang.

“May huhulihin na (Someone will be arrested soon) [for] cyber sedition. We are not going to name the persons, but we are able to track about more than one.”

Salalima said, his department is involved in government efforts to track down people who are backing up terrorists currently laying siege to Marawi City.

“[If] they commit cybercrime then the DICT takes over… Kapag online, it could amount to cyber sedition,” Salalima said.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines earlier asked Facebook to take down at least 63 accounts linked to terrorist group Maute and their sympathizers. The social media giant said it will take down these pages if found to be violating its policies.

President Rodrigo Duterte placed Mindanao under martial law after the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups, backed by foreign terrorists, laid siege to Marawi City on May 23.

The clashes erupted as government troops were attempting to arrest senior Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, considered the Islamic State’s point person in Southeast Asia.

About 1,000 residents are believed to be trapped in the crisis-hit city. Government efforts to flush out terrorists hiding in key spots in the city have been hampered by the presence of civilians trapped inside their homes.

The government said that as of Monday, there have been 26 and 58 civilian and government casualties, respectively. At least 202 suspected terrorists have been killed since the clashes erupted on May 23.