Pres. Duterte assures gov’t firmly handling terror threats
DAVAO CITY (PNA) – President Rodrigo Duterte assured the public Monday that the government is firmly handling terror threats to protect the people and the country.
The President also “brushed aside” the terror threat reported by the United States embassy in the country.
“Kaya natin (We can handle it) I already read that report in the newspapers,” Pres. Duterte told reports in a press conference at the Davao International Airport shortly before departing for his week-long official visit to the Middle East.
In an interview after the send-off rites, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Eduardo Ano said the “terror threat is an unverified and unvalidated report of previous events that are being exploited.
“The US Embassy has obligations to warn their citizens,” he said.
Ano, however, urged the people to be vigilant against suspicious persons.
The US Embassy released a travel advisory to its citizens on Sunday, warning them against travelling to the Visayas, particularly Cebu and Bohol.
The embassy advisory stated that “there’s unsubstantiated yet credible information that terrorist groups may attempt to conduct kidnappings in central Visayas, which includes both Cebu and Bohol provinces.”
“US citizens are advised to carefully consider this information as you make your travel plans, and to review personal security plans, avoid large crowds and gatherings, and remain vigilant at all times,” the advisory added.
The president also took note of giving consideration to the Moro people who are travelling in the said provinces wearing their traditional costumes.
“There are many Moros not connected to any terror groups that are there in the Visayas,” Pres. Duterte said, adding that most of the time, these Moros are mistakenly identified with threat groups.
The president encouraged residents in the Visayas and even visitors not to be afraid with the Moro people.
“You must talk to them. They are also Filipinos like us,” he said.
But the president also emphasized he will use the full force of the law against the Maute Group and other terrorists who will sow terror in the country. (PNA) – Lilian C. Mellejor and Alexander Lopez