MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) downplayed Friday alleged terror threats in the country despite France’s issuance of yet another travel advisory to the Philippines.
“There is really no need to overreact to this. What is important is that our security agencies are aware of some possible threats and they are looking at it and are making all the necessary precautions for the safety and security of everyone,” said DFA Spokesperson Eduardo Malaya.
According to Malaya, they already sent communications to five embassies—the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand--that earlier warned its nationals of possible terror attack that may occur anytime in the Philippines.
“We sent communications to the five concerned embassies seeking clarifications on their basis for the issuances of the travel advisory and to request them to share whatever relevant information they may have to our side in a timely manner so that we can respond appropriately to any threat they may know of,” Malaya said.
Malaya explained that they go by President Benigno Aquino III’s statement that terror threats are “raw and unverified”.
“Six embassies so far who have reissued their previous travel advisories have been sharing information amongst themselves and they have shared the same information to our side which according to our security agencies are unverified and raw and in fact there was no need perhaps to have reissued the travel advisory at all,” he said.
France recently joined the 5 countries in warning its citizens against travelling to the Philippines due to risks of terror attacks.
The DFA official explained that foreign embassies have obligations to inform their nationals.
“It’s pretty obvious who are overreacting to this. Again what is important is that our security agencies are doing their job and they have heightened their alert and maybe the less is said about this the better for everyone so we can sleep better at night and not to be too anxious,” he said.
Malaya added: “There has traditionally been close security cooperation particularly in monitoring threats of terrorism and given what we are now having I’m sure there would even be greater coordination between our side and the countries these embassies represent.”