PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte has issued a warning about an imminent terror threat in the country, saying airports, ports and other public places could be targeted.
The president told reporters the terrorist threat was “coming in very fast,” saying he will call an emergency meeting with his top security officials soon to discuss the danger.
“It’s good to anticipate that there’s going to be one (terror act),” he told crowds in Manila on Tuesday, adding that the attacks would target public places where crowds gather.
“They’d like to blow up where our people converge such as airports, pantalan (pier), park … because of what happened in Mindanao provinces today. As I have said, the threat remains,” he said, as reported by the PhilStar.
Mindanao came under siege last year after Islamic State-allied militants took Marawi city in May. It prompted the country’s biggest and longest battle since World War II in which more than 1,100 people, mostly insurgents, were killed.
In response to the attack, Duterte imposed martial law to restore peace and order in the southern region.
In December, Congress approved his request to extend martial law 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.
Speaking on Tuesday, Duterte also asked the public to be vigilant and ordered the military and police to show no mercy to terrorists plotting against the country.
“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.
Following the Marawi conflict in Mindanao, the military is still trying to verify intelligence information that a prominent Malaysian militant, Amin Baco, may have survived the siege and escaped to neighbouring Sulu.
According to AP, Brig. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana told reporters they had received intelligence suggesting Baco was in hiding with Abu Sayyaf militants.