DESPITE persistent reports about the presence, and even recruitment, of the Islamic State (IS) of members in Mindanao, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said the military is yet to validate the existence of the group in the country.The defense chief said what the country has in Mindanao, particularly in Sulu and Basilan, are members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), despite claims that the IS is already in the South and busy recruiting among the Moros to fight alongside its members in Syria and Iraq.On Wednesday a video went public, wherein ASG members threatened to behead one of the two Germans they held captive if Germany continues supporting military operations against the IS in Syria and Iraq.The local terrorist group also demanded payment of ransom for the two foreigners its members abducted in April in Palawan. Germany reportedly rejected the demand.The ASG and even the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters have already pledged their allegiance to the caliphate declared by the IS.Gazmin said the video was just a propaganda by the ASG to pressure the Philippine government to give in to the group’s demands.Gazmin said “that will never happen.” “We will not be intimidated by these gestures and actions. We will continue to contain them.”The release of the video coincided with the admission of a local official of Basilan that the IS has been recruiting members in the towns of Sumisip, Ungkaya Pukan and Al Barka.Ungkaya Pukan Mayor Joel Maturan said IS members are promising money and weapons to recruits, as well as dowry for the women they would marry.“We are validating if there is really members of the ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria]. Even the report of Mayor Maturan is very deserving [of a probe], but we have not had any confirmation on this,” Gazmin saidThe IS is formerly known as the ISIS. The Philippine National Police said it was also validating raw reports about the recruitment of the group in the country, with the Intelligence Group on top of the job.“We are continuously monitoring. Our Directorate for Intelligence, as of now, is verifying reports of ISIS recruitment, but it considered it raw information,” PNP Public Information Office, Chief Supt. Reuben Theodore Sindac said.Meanwhile, a homemade bomb exploded on Wednesday night in Lamitan City, Basilan, but Senior Insp. Gean Gallardo said no one was injured in the explosion.Gallardo, chief of the Lamitan City Police, said the blast rocked a post of the Basilan Electric Cooperative, which is in between barangays Campu Uno and Sabong.Gallardo said they have yet to confirm whether the explosion is connected with any terrorist group.