Duterte warns airport, port or other public places in the Philippines could be targeted by terrorists

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he would call an emergency meeting with security officials to discuss the issue, adding the threat was "coming in very fast".
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he would call an emergency meeting with security officials to discuss the issue, adding the threat was "coming in very fast".PHOTO: AFP

MANILA - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has issued another warning about an imminent terror threat in the country, saying airports, ports and other public places could be targeted.

The President said he would call an emergency meeting with security officials to discuss the issue, adding the threat was "coming in very fast", The Philippine Star newspaper reported on Wednesday (Jan 18).

He gave the warning shortly after he inaugurated a new air traffic management system in Manila on Tuesday.

"I'm also reminded of the serious threat now but I hope that you have to raise the awareness not only of the senses - and just maybe it's good to anticipate that there's gonna be one in the coming days about terrorism," Duterte said.

"They'd like to blow up where our people converge such as airports, pantalan (pier), park... As I have said, the threat remains," he said.

He asked the public to be vigilant and ordered the military and police to show no mercy to terrorists plotting against the country, reported Manila Bulletin newspaper.

"My guidance to the security forces, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, is that in this matter of security against terrorism, it will be no quarters asked, no quarters given," he said.

Amid concerns that he might expand the declaration of martial law all over the country, Duterte spoke out how martial law in Mindanao has helped the peace and order situation in the southern region.

In December 2017, the congress approved his request to extend the imposition of martial law in Mindanao by a year, or until the end of 2018, so government forces can "totally eradicate" groups inspired by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Meanwhile, the military is trying to validate intelligence information that a Malaysian militant leader survived the defeat of the siege in Marawi and is helping restart efforts to establish an extremist alliance, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana said they have received information that Amin Baco managed to escape to Sulu, where he is hiding with Abu Sayyaf militants.