The Philippine military on Thursday said it has arrested at least four members of a Philippine network that had been spying on and disrupting the military.
Military officials told reporters on Thursday that the suspects were arrested last week on charges of illegal surveillance and tampering with state secrets.
The Philippines Army on Thursday described the arrest of the suspected network members as a “sophisticated” operation.
The network, which was reportedly established in 2011, is believed to be based in the southern city of Leyte, according to the military’s military police chief, Lieutenant General Ricardo Nino.
The Philippine military has also detained three other suspects in recent months, military officials said.
Nino said in a statement that the network members were involved in a series of “illegal activities” in the country.
The arrest of suspects on Wednesday came two weeks after military officials arrested a man suspected of being part of the network in the central island city of Tacloban, Nino said.
Military and intelligence officials said on Thursday they had not yet released any details about the suspected spying operation.
The government did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the arrests.
The military has been embroiled in a dispute with a powerful separatist group over the country’s southern island of Mindanao since 2015, with many residents saying they were denied basic rights.
President Rodrigo Duterte and other military leaders have blamed the group for the killing of two members of his security detail in Mindanaon last year.
The country’s military says the killings were carried out by the militants, but the separatist group has denied involvement.