Lorenzana says Philippines has nothing to worry about despite Japan warning of terrorist attack
By Robina Asido
Despite the recent warning by the Japanese Foreign Ministry on possible terrorist attacks in some Southeast Asian countries including Philippines, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said there is no need to worry as the situation in the country is under control.
"We know the (terrorist) location there in Basilan, Jolo, BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao). Those who can do terror act are in BARRM region, so other than that we do not see other things that we should worry. The situation is under control. Even the police are saying the same, that they do not see imminent attack here in our country," he said in a press briefing on Thursday.
Lorenzana said so far the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have not seen any indication of imminent attack and the military is continuing intelligence gathering and monitoring of the terrorist groups in the country.
But Lorenzana said the government is coordinating with the defense attache of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines to get details.
"We are contacting the defense attache of the Japanese Embassy here in the Philippines. There is no feedback yet, but we really have to know the details about the attack," he said.
Lorenzana said the Philippine government has many questions about the warning issued by the Japanese Foreign Ministry. It includes details on the source of information about the possible attack in Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines.
"We should know the details of the report so that we will know, we can assess the veracity or the truthfulness of the report... at least we can prepare," he said.
Lorenzana admitted that like the United States, the intelligence gathering of Japan is also good but he noted that even ASEAN countries do not have information about the possible attack.
"Maybe there are inside information in Japan monitoring the terrorist in the region. The ten ASEAN countries are also helping each other. We share information with each other if there are terrorist movements there... So how come the ASEAN is not aware of it and Japan has the information. So we do not know why, and we should know," he said. DMS