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National security forces alerted vs. terror attacks

The Philippine Armed Forces (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) are separately validating the warning issued recently by the Japanese government of possible terror attacks within the Southeast Asian region, including the Philippines.

PNP Chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said they are not downplaying the warning while the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said they are treating the matter seriously.

Security dry runs were recently conducted after Japan warned its citizens to stay away from facilities owned by western countries, religious services and crowded places.

Japan named as possible targets the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia where terrorists with links to international religious extremist groups lay dormant.

Eleazar said he has directed the PNP Directorate for Intelligence to validate the information.

He said, “I directed the directorate for intelligence to validate the information and we will also coordinate with our Japanese counterpart regarding that matter. Even without that information, our intelligence monitoring is ongoing and we are ready for any possible threat.”

Other government security forces, he said, will coordinate with Japanese counterparts to confirm the report.

The PNP has shared information with the AFP to ensure their readiness against any possible attack, he said.

Newly-installed PCG Commandant Vice Admiral Leopoldo Laroya, meanwhile, raised no alarm as his group coordinates with the military and law enforcement units.

Laroya said District Commanders across the country have intensified border protection measures and 24/7 seaborne patrol operations. He added they monitor sea lanes and maritime transportation installations and infrastructures.

Laroya stressed, “Our intelligence officers and deployed personnel are always coordinating with the National Intelligence Committee, Anti-Terrorism Council, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Philippine National Police to assist in the implementation of a whole-of-nation approach in dealing with national security and public safety issues.”

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