Aquino: No credible terror threat in PH

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(File photo) There is no imminent terror threat in the Philippines, President Benigno Aquino III said.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) – President Benigno Aquino III said there is no imminent threat in the country following the ISIS attack in Jakarta, Indonesia on Thursday (January 14).

He added authorities are on top of the situation to ensure public safety.

Aquino said he immediately met with national security officials after the bombings in the Indonesian capital.  Among those he met were Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief General Hernando Iriberri and Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director-General Ricardo Marquez.

For instance, nung malapit na ang Anniversary ng Mamasapano, nagpunta ako sa Zamboanga City dahil Zamboanga City ay hardened. Pero may nakalusot na pambobomba doon. Paano may nakalusot? So inaalam natin facts, nagkaroon ng corrective measure para di maulit ito,” Aquino said.

[Translation: “For instance, before the anniversary of the Mamasapano incident, I went to Zamboanga City because it is hardened. But a bombing still occurred. How did that happen? So we are trying to get facts. There was a corrective measure so this won’t happen again.”]

Securing Sulu

For his part, Iriberri visited Zamboanga City and Jolo town in Sulu, a day after the bombings in downtown Jakarta.

Officials said Iriberri's visit reiterates the continuing military campaign against lawless elements.

Sulu is a known stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), a rebel group known for having links to terror groups.

The Abu Sayyaf Group - Network News - 09282015.mp4_20150928_193836.242.jpg  

Also read: ASG member nabbed in Sulu hospital

In a report, a security analyst said if the Philippine military secures the Sulu archipelago, ISIS cannot successfully expand its operations in the Philippines.

‘No ISIS presence in PH’

The military has downplayed rumors about ISIS presence in Mindanao.

Officials said armed groups like the ASG, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), and Ansar Khalifa Philippines (AKP) may be inspired by the ISIS, but they are not led by the ISIS.

Also read: No presence of ISIS in Central Mindanao – AFP, PNP

The military has been on heightened alert since the Jakarta bombings, making its forces available in case of emergency.

The PNP is also on full alert as a proactive measure, meaning more policemen are on patrol, especially in vital installations and areas of convergence.