By Perfecto T. Raymundo
MANILA (PNA) – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday said that there is no threat amid the clashes between government forces and members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Sulu province.
This was the reaction of the PNP following fears that the ASG would conduct bombing attacks in Metro Manila after clashes have claimed the lives of 30 ASG members and 15 troopers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
In an ambush interview, PNP Spokesman Sr. Supt. Dionardo Carlos said in Taglish (mixed Tagalog and English) that “because there is now an ongoing regular inter-agency assessment in Metro Manila.”
”The result of that (assessment) will show us if the threat level in Metro Manila is high or not, and in other parts of the country based on the assessment, whether it is happening in Mindanao,” Carlos said.
Based on the assessment, Carlos said, “we will see that probability whether the probability will happen in Metro Manila, so we will monitor that.”
The PNP official noted that the presence of ASG in Metro Manila is not the same compared to their presence in Sulu and in Basilan provinces.
”So, if there is such a threat, it will be found in the regular meeting assessment being conducted by the inter-agency committee,” Carlos said.
He stressed that there is still no threat, adding that, the assessment is being done regularly.
”We assure the public that the inter-agency meets regularly to do an assessment to the level of threats in Metro Manila and in other parts of the country,” Carlos said.
If it is happening now in down south, he said, the condition here in Metro Manila is different.
”Right now, we don’t see any threat as far as the diversionary tactics of the ASG is concerned. None,” Carlos said.
He added that one possible action which the ASG may resort to, is to divert, to ease the pressure the military and the other forces are doing down south, so that is being monitored by the multi-agency committee.