Authorities have tightened security in Davao City – hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte – following intelligence reports that the Islamic State (IS) may launch terror attacks there.
Acting mayor Paolo Duterte, the president’s son, ordered police and military to stay alert and tighten security in all entry points to Davao City.
He urged residents to be vigilant while the authorities were verifying the reported threat.
AFP Eastern Mindanao Commander, Lt. Gen. Leonardo Guerrero, has directed army commanders to coordinate closely with the police authorities and intensify intelligence gathering and conduct anti-terrorism and counter-terrorism activities not only in Davao, but the whole region.
Guerrero pointed out that the military’s posture on the matter remains the same as the threat leveled against Davao increased being the President’s hometown.
The heightened security in Davao also coincided with on-going military operations in Basilan and Sulu provinces.
Army Major Ezra Balagtey, spokesman for the Eastern Mindanao Command based in Davao City, said they have intensified support to law enforcement and strengthened anti-terrorism operations.
The threats came following recent ISIS attack on a night club in Puchong, Selangor in Malaysia just outside the capital Kuala Lumpur that wounded eight people, and a suicide attack on a police station in central Java in Indonesia that injured an officer.
ISIS has also threatened the Philippines and, in one of its latest propaganda, called for jihadists around the world to go to the largely Catholic country and wage holy war.
However, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ricardo Visaya on
Thursday said they have not received any information on the alleged threat as revealed by the younger Duterte.
“I haven’t received any similar report, but as always terrorist threats are part of our intelligence units’ monitoring efforts,” he said.
Asked about the presence of ISIS in the country, Visaya said that the same was not validated.
“Only groups like ASG (Abu Sayyaf Group) that have publicly declared support to the said group,” he added.
Just recently, suspected jihadists ambushed a convoy of the 65th Infantry Battalion and 51st Mechanized Company in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur, killing an army soldier and wounded three others.