No monitored terror threat in PH, officials say after Japan’s warning

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 14)— Despite the recent advisory from Japan, Philippine security officials on Tuesday said they have not received reports on possible terror threats in the country.

“We have not received any report on possible terror attacks as advised by the Japan Foreign Ministry,” Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Guillermo Eleazar said in a statement.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) echoed the statement, adding its personnel “constantly validate all reports on security matters.”

“[A]nd it is a continuous process. As per last review our threat level is moderate,” the AFP said separately. “We ensure that all citizens, Filipinos or not, as long as they are within our territory, are protected and kept safe from terrorists' threats.”

The Defense department also said the advisory will be validated, stressing officials are working closely with other government branches to monitor possible security threats.

News agency Associated Press reported on Monday that Japan’s Foreign Ministry had advised its citizens to avoid “religious facilities and crowds” in six Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines, due to possible attacks.

The report said the ministry “obtained information that there are increased risks such as suicide bombings.” Japan’s advisory covered its citizens residing in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Myanmar, it added.

The Japanese Embassy confirmed that Japan received information about a possible attack, but did not give further details.

“We issued a warning to alert Japanese people residing in some Southeast Asian countries, but we cannot disclose the source,” the embassy said in a statement.

The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs, on the other hand, said it has not been officially informed about the matter.

Despite the report, the PNP said security forces won’t be letting their guards down.

Noon pa man ay patuloy ang aming intelligence monitoring,” Eleazar said. “ At nananatiling maigting ang ating pakikipag-ugnayan sa iba’t ibang bansa laban sa terorismo through information-sharing and partnership in dealing with terror groups.”

[Translation: Our intelligence monitoring continues. And our cooperation with different countries against terrorism remains strong through information-sharing and partnership in dealing with terror groups.]