MANILA – Malacañang welcomed on Monday the death of the Islamic State's (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, saying the development is "good news" for countries that have been terrorized by the group.
Baghdadi's death was announced by US President Donald Trump, who said that the elusive IS leader died "like a dog" in a daring, nighttime raid by US special forces in northwest Syria.
"That's good news for countries that have been terrorized by the ISIS," Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo told reporters in Malacañang Monday.
Panelo, however, noted that while Baghdadi's death may discourage some terrorists, it doesn't necessarily equate to the death of the Islamic State.
"It may also cause discouragement on the part of terrorist groups," he said.
"But then again, the [death of the] leader of one group does not mean the extinction of that band of terrorists. We know that for a fact," he added.
At its height, IS controlled swaths of Iraq and Syria in a self-declared caliphate, brutally imposing a puritanical version of Islam.
The group planned or inspired terrorist attacks across Europe, while using social media to lure foreign volunteers. -with a report from Agence France-Presse