DND questions Japan on terror alert

The Department of National Defense (DND) is coordinating with Japan to get more details on its opinion on possible terrorist attacks in six Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines. In an online press briefing on Thursday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said they had yet to receive a response from Japan’s defense attache at his embassy in Manila regarding their request for information on the question. “We have to get the details of the attack they’re saying, we can’t just guess what attack they’re saying, what they’re based on, and where they got the report, and when it happened, who took it, so we have a lot of questions that only Japan can answer, “he added. Earlier this week, Japan’s Foreign Ministry issued an alert warning its Asian citizens of Southeast, especially in the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar, against possible terrorist attacks. Lorenzana said he was surprised by Tokyo’s advice given that the Philippines have a lot of experience in terrorist attacks compared to Japan. He added that troops were always on alert for terrorist attacks as the Philippines has been fighting terrorists since the 1990s. Lorenzana a declared that the armed forces of Philippines had yet to see any sign of an impending terrorist attack. He added that AFP had stepped up surveillance and intelligence gathering activities against terrorist groups known to operate in the country. “We know where they are hiding in Basilan, Jolo and BARMM. In the BARMM region, groups that may lead terrorists are known, but we still do not see any activity that may cause concern. They are under control, even the police say they still haven’t detected an impending attack, ”Lorenzana said. He was referring to members of Abu Sayyaf, Islamic freedom fighters from Bangsamoro and Jemaah Islamiyah. Lorenzana said the intelligence community has yet to detect the presence of foreign terrorists operating in the country. Meanwhile, Malacañang said the government is stepping up preparation against a possible terrorist attack. “We thank them (Japan) for the information, and we are strengthening our preparation for a possible terrorist attack,” said President Harry Roque’s spokesman.

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