From the Philippine News Agency (May 12): Eastmincom heightens alert amid US travel advisory
The Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines has ordered its troops to be on heightened alert as terrorist groups may launch diversionary tactics on its jurisdiction.
Major Ezra Balagtey, chief of the information office of Eastmincom, said Friday the heightened alert took effect on Thursday evening, May 11.
The order followed a travel advisory previously issued by the US Embassy to its citizens to avoid visiting Palawan.
“While the travel advisory was specific to Palawan, the command had to raise the alert level in the area because of the possibility of terrorist groups shifting or diverting operations to Eastern Mindanao,” Balagtey pointed out.
He added that Eastmincom is also coordinating with the Philippine National Police (PNP), the local government units (LGUs) and other law enforcement agencies to take necessary measures to secure maritime, coastal and land areas against terrorist attacks.
“Eastmincom enjoins the public to be vigilant but calm and to immediately report to law enforcement units any suspicious-looking individual or activity in their vicinity,” he added.
He said that early morning on Thursday, the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao already conducted drills and simulation exercises to test and evaluate their capability in responding to terrorism.