MANILA (UPDATED)— The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Tuesday said they have not received reports about possible terror attacks as cited by Japan in its advisory to its citizens.
In separate statements, PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar and AFP spokesperson Col. Ramon Zagala both said that while the Philippines takes Japan's advisory "seriously," security officials have not received a similar report from its intelligence network.
"We have not received any report on possible terror attacks as advised by the Japan Foreign Ministry but this does not mean that we would lower our guard on this matter," Eleazar said.
"As of now, we have not received any report. We constantly validate all reports on security matters and it is a continuous process. As per last review our threat level is moderate," Zagala said.
Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday issued a warning to its citizens about possible terror attacks, such as suicide bombings, in Southeast Asia, particularly in Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Myanmar.
The Department of National Defense (DND), on the other hand, said it is still validating the report.
Defense spokesperson Dir. Arsenio Andolong said it "takes cognizance" of the information shared by the Japanese government.
"As with all reports concerning the safety and security of our communities, the aforementioned advisory will be subjected to the process of validation," Andolong said.
The DND and the AFP are still at a "constant state of heightened alert" most especially after the Marawi siege.
Marawi City was reduced to rubble during a 5-month war against Islamic State-inspired homegrown terrorists in May 2017.
Eleazar said the PNP continues its "intensified intelligence-gathering" to prevent terrorist attacks.
Zagala, meanwhile, said the AFP employs an "intensified internal security operations aimed at winning the peace."
"We ensure that all citizens, Filipinos or not, as long as they are within our territory, are protected and kept safe from terrorists' threats," Zagala said.
The DND said they are closely coordinating with other government agencies following the report.
"We are working closely with... instrumentalities such as the Anti-Terrorism Council to continuously monitor and assess terror threats within our borders all year round," the statement read.