Calabarzon police have arrested two suspected terrorists in two separate anti-terror operations in Tayabas, Quezon and in Calamba, Laguna in southern Luzon, three weeks before the start of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
Quoting authorities, GMA News TV’s Balitanghali Weekend, beamed nationwide, identified the suspect nabbed in Tayabas as Saidie Saro, a variety store owner from whom were seized a hand grenade, live ammunition, and an improvised explosive device.
But Saro denied allegations he was a member of an international terrorist group and claimed the items purportedly seized did not belong to him.
In Calamba, police nabbed Bobby Gabunatan Sarip, who police said yielded an IED and a cellular phone. Sarip has declined to give any comment.
According to the police, both suspects were found in possession of an ISIS flag.
Security forces are still determining which ISIS subgroups the two belong to.
The 2019 Southeast Asian Games, officially known as the 30th Southeast Asian Games or 2019 SEA Games and commonly known as Philippines 2019, will be the 30th edition of the Southeast Asian Games, a biennial regional multi-sport event which will be hosted by the Philippines from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, 2019.
This edition will be marked by the first major decentralization in the history of the Games, with competition venues spread in 23 cities across the country, divided into four clusters, all in Luzon, the fourth cluster consisting of stand alone venues.
This will be the fourth time that the Philippines will host the games and its first time since 2005.
Previously, it had also hosted the 1981 and 1991 editions of the games.
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