Illustrative image (Source: AP)

Hanoi (VNA) – Philippine Secretary of Defence Delfin Lorenzana on February 9 said that the country is certain local militants have close relations with the self-claimed Islamic State (IS).

Lorenzana said in an interview that Islamic insurgents in the southern Philippines have been in touch with IS and financial aid was sent from the Middle East via overseas Filipino workers.

He stated that means of communication like social media, telephones and text messaging have been blocked.

The official said it is difficult to detect finances sent from IS due to the large number of Filipinos sending income home from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States. He also confirmed that there is no sign of involvement of those countries’ governments.-VNA