AFP to public: Be more security-conscious

MANILA-- While it has yet to detect any threat related to ongoing efforts to clear Marawi City of the remaining Maute Group terrorists, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has urged the people to be more observant of their surroundings to preempt any possible attempt by lawless groups to create havoc in their communities.

"We have not monitored (any threat against) any major city as of the moment, but then again, as I have mentioned, the threat never stops. There will always be threat coming from anywhere, any time of the day, any time of the week, and hence, the issue here is readiness," AFP spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, said Thursday when asked whether they have information on possible attacks being plotted by supporters of the terrorists.

"More than anything else, whether there is a crisis or not, we need to be vigilant. We need to be alert. We need to be very observant of our surroundings."

Padilla noted that every member of the community must be watchful because it is not only the Philippines and the AFP who are facing threats from terrorism but the whole world as well.

"This concept of shared responsibility and security is a relevant item that we need to reiterate because every citizen must realize that our country has a limited number of soldiers. It has a limited number of police and other security personnel," he said.

As of this posting, the number of Maute Group terrorists killed in Marawi City has reached 351, with 425 firearms seized, while the number of civilians executed by the terrorists has been placed at 39, and the number of civilians rescued at 1,723.

Fighting in Marawi City broke out when government security troops tried to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, tagged as the ISIS "emir" in Southeast Asia, last May 23.

"Our population is more than 100 million, and if every member of the community takes up the cudgels, shares the responsibility and is on the lookout whenever they are outside or in their communities for suspicious persons and other suspicious items, then the manner by which we address all these threats becomes faster and it becomes safer for everyone else," Padilla said. (Priam F. Nepomuceno/Gilbert Villaruz and Jayvee H. Castro

Source: Philippines News Agency

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