Amid possible threats, public told: Never let your guard down
There is no specific threat in the country but the people should not keep their guards down, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said on Wednesday.
“The threat is always there, importanteng aware tayo na may threat so we don’t put our guards down,” Gazmin told reporters when asked about a worldwide travel alert issued by the United States.
Malacañang also called on the public earlier to avoid crowded places like malls as the military intensified its operations against the Abu Sayyaf and other terror groups in the southern Philippines.
Asked then if the public has something to worry following Malacanang’s statement, Gazmin said: “Hindi. Sinasabi ko (No. What I said is) don’t put your guard down. Ibig sabihin maging (It means you just have to be) aware ka na may (that there is) danger so that maging (and that you will have to be) vigilant and alert at all times.
“For anything that is unusual, not normal then you should worry, you report these things to the authorities,” he added.
But asked if there was any specific threat to the country, the Defense Secretary said: “Wala, wala (None, none).”
While there is no specific threat at this point, Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile noted that the “strategic” situation in the world and in the region was not very encouraging for the country.
“There is no perceptible threat now but it’s possible, probable that we will be, as a part of the planet, we will be involved in the problems that are now occurring in Europe and other parts of the world,” Enrile said in a separate interview.
“You know these things, you can’t plan just tomorrow. You have to plan it within a certain frame of time,” he said.
Enrile is proposing to increase the proposed P116.2 billion budget of the Department of National Defense next year by another P10 billion to P20 billion for the Air Force alone “in order to train more pilots and get more plains.” IDL
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