The Daily Manila Shimbun


Military confirms getting reports Abu Sayyaf plan to enter Palawan

May 10, 2017

Amid the issuance of a travel advisory by the United States, a military official confirmed receiving reports about a plan by the Abu Sayyaf  to enter Palawan after trying to enter Bohol. “Well we have reports before after the Bohol incident that there are ASG that will enter Coron. Coron is their target, but we haven’t validated it,” Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Command Chief Lt. Gen. Raul Del Rosario said Wednesday. Del Rosario said they have tightened security. “What we did was we went on heightened alert. We created an interagency task group. We deployed ships and personnel for target hardening so that they will not able to get into the province. But despite all these a travel advisory was issued, so we further strengthened our security posture,” he said. Del Rosario said on Wednesday authorities in Palawan, including representatives from the local government, Coast Guard, police, tourism, chamber of commerce, security agency, resort owners and others had an interagency meeting about anti-terrorism efforts. Despite the travel advisory, AFP Public Affairs Chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said the military “have not monitored any threat specific to Palawan.” “But that doesn't mean that we are taking the report lightly although the AFP is not the source of that information made basis of the US travel advisory,” Arevalo said. “But whether there indeed a threat or not, our position is we take all reports seriously, we keep our monitoring and vigilance, and are taking all precautions,” he added. Arevalo said the military does not have plan to deploy additional forces in Palawan. “We are not deploying more troops apart from those airmen, sailors, marines and select units of the Army in the area for the moment. But definitely our techniques, tactics, and procedures are evolving to address ‘thinking enemies’ who adjust theirs as well to pose terror threats,” he said. “We respect the issue of US travel advisory. We recognize that it is both an obligation and right of a sovereign state. We do that to our own nationals sojourning abroad,” he added. Arevalo said the military is asking for the cooperation of the people in the province by reporting any suspicious things and individuals in their communities. “We urge our people there "Palaweño” to remain calm and invite them to continue to remain vigilant and actively participate in strengthening our security posture,” he said. “We need their vigilance and active participation to defeat terror threats,” Arevalo added. (Robina Asido/DMS)