The Department of National Defense (DND) is coordinating with Japan to get more details on its advisory on possible terror attacks in six countries in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines.
In an online press briefing Thursday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said they have yet to get a response from Japan’s defense attaché at its embassy in Manila regarding their request for information on the matter.
“We need to get the details of the attack they are saying, we cannot just guess on what attack they are saying, what is their basis, and where they did they get the report, and when it happened, who took it, so we have a lot of questions which only Japan can answer,” he added.
Earlier this week, Japan’s Foreign Ministry issued an alert cautioning its citizens in Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Myanmar, against possible terror attacks.
Lorenzana said he was surprised by Tokyo’s advisory considering that the Philippines has a lot of experience in terrorist attacks compared to Japan.
He, meanwhile, added that troops were always on alert for terror attacks as the Philippines have been combating terrorists since the 1990s.
Lorenzana said the Armed Forces of the Philippines had yet to see any indications of an imminent terror attack.
He added the AFP had intensified monitoring and intelligence gathering activities against terrorist groups known to be operating in the country.
“We know where they are hiding in Basilan, Jolo, and the BARMM. In the BARMM region, groups that could conduct terrorists are known to be there but we are still to see any activity that could cause concern. They are under control even the police are saying that they are still to detect any imminent attack,” Lorenzana said.
He was referring to members of the Abu Sayyaf, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and the Jemaah Islamiyah.
Lorenzana said the intelligence community had yet to detect the presence of foreign terrorists operating in the country.
Meanwhile, Malacañang said the government was intensifying its readiness against a possible terror attack.
“We thank them (Japan) for the information, and we are strengthening our preparedness for a possible terror attack,” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.