Police confirms monitoring terror threat in central Visayas
Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa confirmed Monday they have monitored terror threat in central Visayas.
“I was briefed by regional director of Police Regional Office seven they monitored such, and there is appropriate action done by the RD of PRO 7 to thwart threats,” he said.
The United States issued a travel advisory to alert their citizens from possible kidnapping specifically in Bohol and Cebu.
However, Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman, said there was no serious threat monitored.
“Although our government has not detected any serious threats to tourism in Central Philippines, our security forces are ever vigilant and proactively engaged to deter any threats posed on travelers especially during the long holidays this week,” Padilla said.
“Our security posture as a community and as nation though can be enhanced further if our citizens remain vigilant, alert and always mindful of their surroundings to prevent any disturbance to the peace they enjoy. Everyone is also encouraged to closely cooperate with authorities at all times. We are all here for you ready and at your service!,” he added.
Amid the issuance of the US travel advisory, Dela Rosa assured the public police are ready to secure people from terrorists.
“Do not be afraid, I am giving assurance to the people that our police in central Visayas are ready, so don’t be afraid although they have issued their advisory,” he said.
Defense Department Public Affairs Chief Arsenio Andolong said they respect issuance of the travel advisory of US.
“Well we respect the US government’s issuance of the travel because they of course want to look out for their citizens, they’ve that in the past over even minor issues such as rallies and in response to security situations, although in this case it’s not yet clear as to what the basis of the advisory was,” Andolong said.
Padilla said issuance of a travel advisory is a nation’s normal practice.
“The issuance of travel advisories by other nations is an inherent function performed by countries to advise their nationals and caution them. The US which has a significant number of citizens who travel do this regularly as a precautionary means to protect its citizens,” he said.
“The Philippine does the same in as far as its OFWs are concerned and even goes to the extreme of halting their deployments if necessary in order to protect them,” he added.
Col. Edgard Arevalo, AFP public affairs chief, said the military, “in support of the PNP, is committed to ensuring the safety, security, and well-being of people residing in or sojourning in the Philippines- whether Filipinos or nationals of other countries.”
"We have instituted measures and proactive steps to toward that direction. Arrests have been made of people with links or possibly connected to local or international terrorist organizations,” he said.
"We have been successful so far in warding off security threats without announcing the meritorious results. We respect the right and mandate of the US government-- and that of
any other countries' for that matter,” he added. Robina Asido/DMS