NORMAL and ordinary.
This is how the Department of National Defense ( DND) perceived the travel advisory issued by the United Kingdom to their citizens regarding the alleged threat in Mindanao following the New Year’s Eve bombing at a shopping mall in Cotobato City that killed two persons and injured several others.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana explained that the British advisory is an automatic and default warning of the UK government to their citizens.
“Like we also do when these things happen in other countries, it is normal and ordinary. We hear about these advisories all the time,” Lorenzana said.
Lorenzana also stressed that there is no indication that there will be other bombings in the area.
“The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all travel to Western and Central and the Sulu Archipelago because of terrorist activity and clashes between the military and insurgent group,” the UK travel advisory stated.
The British government reminded their citizens to remain vigilant at all times because terrorist groups continue to plan attacks and have the capacity and the intent to carry out attacks at any time and anywhere in the country including places visited by foreigners like airports, shopping malls, public transport including the metro system and places of worship.
For his part, Philippine Army 6th Infantry Division Commander Major General. Cirilito Sobejana said threats in areas like Central Mindanao are normal. Every now and then there is a threat of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosion.
But they guarantee that with or without a terror attack threat they are always on guard and ready to protect the life of everyone.
“Actually, dito sa central Mindanao, naging normal na lang yung threat kasi every now and then merong threat of IED explosion pero kami naman with or without threat talagang we are always on guard,” he said.
Sobejana said there are places in the area that are safe to visit like Davao, Cagayan de Oro and General Santos.
He said government troops are strictly guarding areas that are most frequented by the public.