MANILA--- Terror plots in the Philippines are not exactly new.
This was stressed by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana when asked on whether he is aware of any terrorist plans to attack other areas in Mindanao and other parts of the country aside from Marawi City where fighting against Maute Group remnants is now ongoing for almost three months.
"Terror threats in all of Mindanao and even outside Mindanao has been with us for a long time. In fact we had terror acts committed here in Manila before," he added in a message to the Philippine News Agency Wednesday.
Such actions are possible as Filipino terrorists and their allies can travel all over the Philippines unimpeded, giving them the opportunity to create mayhem and terror anywhere.
"This is not new. Filipino terrorists can travel all over the country unimpeded hence they could create mayhem anywhere. That is why we should all be vigilant. The safety of a community is mainly the concern of all residents, not only the police or military," Lorenzana stressed.
On Tuesday, Sen. Vicente "Tito" Sotto III said President Rodrigo Duterte has called for a meeting in Malacanang to discuss new terror threats against three areas in Mindanao.
He also stressed that the Chief Executive stressed that he wants 20,000 additional military personnel for the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
He declined to give any more details as the information is very sensitive and only the President can disclose it to the public.
As of this posting, an estimated 502 Maute Group terrorists have been killed along with 114 government troops and 45 civilians.
Also seized were 592 firearms while 1,723 civilians were rescued.
Fighting in the area has been raging since May 23 when government forces made a botched attempt to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader and ISIS "emir" Isnilon Hapilon.
Source: Philippine News Agency