President Duterte had previously hinted that suspected IS members may have traveled to Mindanao, which has been plagued by decades of Muslim rebellion, to convince locals there to join their ranks.
While the president did not offer proof, the statement remained a cause of worry for the Philippines, which has been trying to address the rebellion at home.
BI spokesperson Tonette Mangrobang said the agency was coordinating with the police, military and other law enforcement agencies to carry out the President’s directive.
“We call on the public to provide the BI with any information regarding the suspicious activities of foreigners in their communities,” she said.
Although the BI is not the lead agency on terrorism concerns, it is the primary agency concerned with the entry and exit of foreigners in the country.
The BI issued the statement after Mr. Duterte made his comments and ordered the military to validate the presence of foreigners recruiting Filipinos in Mindanao to fight for IS.
Teachers of doctrine
In ordering the military to arrest the indoctrinators, the President said he was told that unarmed Caucasian and Arab-looking individuals had been teaching doctrine in Mindanao, taking advantage of the insurgency that has left parts of the south wallowing in deep poverty.
Mangrobang said the agency was coordinating with the security and law enforcement sectors on intelligence information in order to identify these individuals.
“The BI remains committed to enforce its mandate against undesirable aliens, especially terrorists,” Mangrobang said.
Be aware of ISIS
Terror alert for travelers to Philippines Manila