Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Thursday, September 16, said he has asked the Japanese Embassy in Manila for details regarding an advisory issued by Japan’s foreign ministry about possible terror attacks in Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines.
“Meron tayong effort diyan, kino-contact na natin yung defense attaché na nandito sa Pilipinas doon sa Japanese embassy at hindi pa naman nagpi-feedback (We are doing something about it and we contacted the defense attaché of Japanese embassy here but they have yet to provide a feedback),” Lorenzana said during a press conference on Thursday.
On Tuesday, the Japanese government warned its citizens overseas that it received information about a possible terror attack in the Southeast Asian countries Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, and the Philippines. Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised its citizens to stay away from crowds and religious facilities in the said countries.
Manila’s defense chief said he reached out to the representatives of the Japanese government in the Philippines to inquire about the details of the advisory.
“Hindi naman tayo manghuhula kung ano’ng ibig sabihin niyang tinatawag na attack. Kung ano ang basehan niyan. Saan galing ‘yung report? Kailan nangyari ‘yung report? Sino ang kumuha? So napakaraming tanong ang dapat masagot niyan ng Japan,” Lorenzana said.
(We can’t guess what the attack means or what its basis is. Where did the report come from? When did the report happen? Who made the report? There are a lot of questions that Japan should answer.)
Lorenzana said that the government has no reports of foreign terrorists in the country. The defense chief added that the military remained focused on local members of terrorist groups in the country.
“Ang ating minamanmanan ngayon ay ‘yung mga local na mga miyembro ng Abu Sayyaf saka ‘yung mga diyan sa may Central Mindanao. ‘Yung Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) at saka ‘yung Jemaah Islamiyah,” the defense chief added.
(We are currently monitoring the local members of Abu Sayyaf and those in Central Mindanao. The BIFF and the Jemaah Islamiyah.)
In a report published on September 10, non-governmental anti-terrorism organization SITE Intelligence Group said that Jihadist groups urge “lone wolves” in East Asia to attack non-muslims. SITE added that the terrorist groups said that their fighters are ready for suicide bombings in Asia, including Afghanistan. – Rappler.com