From Rappler (Jul 1): Aquino: Terror threat in Davao 'unverified'
Aquino says authorities had received a report that a terrorist known for making bombs 'had sent a bomb or a bomb-laden vehicle to Davao City to further a terrorist attack.'
President Benigno Aquino III confirmed receiving raw information on a terrorist threat in Davao, but said reports are still unverified.
On Tuesday, July 1, at the sidelines of the 67th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force, Aquino told reporters authorities had received a report that a terrorist known for making bombs "had sent a bomb or a bomb-laden vehicle to Davao City to further a terrorist attack."
"That operation in Davao City in particular is still unverified. Number one, that might be all psychological operations of this person that has been free for so long, and now he is really feeling as if the walls are closing in on him," he said.
"Of course if he says there is such a circumstance, we will divert forces there. His situation will be less constricted. So we are not discounting any possibility but we want to err on the side of caution."
Aquino admitted he called Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte regarding the raw information, "to adequately prepare Davao."
"The Mayor as a head of the Peace and Order Council for Davao City should be made aware of pertinent information so that he has the wherewithal to adequately prepare his community for it," he said.
Duterte had earlier raised the alert level in the city after the call in at least 4 cities in Mindanao, including the cities of Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Koronadal, and Kidapawan. He said Aquino did not name the terror groups that posed threats.
The President emphasized, however, that both the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are "actively determining the validity of the report and continuing operations against this known terrorist."
His statements came after the United Kingdom issued travel warnings to Davao City and other areas in Mindanao, which, Aquino said, he understood.
"I assume that they will also seek to be very extra cautious and of course we will appeal to them: is the amount of caution commensurate to the threat? And at this point in time, we are winning the battle against them but it is still a battle ongoing."