Davao terror threat, based on reliable information

By , on June 30, 2014

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. answers questions from the media in a press briefing on Malacanang Friday when he advised people to remain vigilant until the exit of Typhoon Yolanda from the Philippine area of responsibility. He also commended the people along the typhoon path for heeding the call of the government to evacuate and take the necessary precautions as the typhoon approached.  (Photo by Robert Viñas/Rodolfo Manabat/Malacanang Photo Bureau)
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.  (Photo by Robert Viñas/Rodolfo Manabat/Malacanang Photo Bureau)

MANILA – Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said that there is a “high degree of reliability” in the information received by Malacañang regarding the potential terror threat in Davao. The information was, in fact, reliable enough for President Aquino to call up Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to discuss the situation.

“An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure…Dapat matatag tayo pero mahinahon,” Coloma said in an via radio station DZMM.

He added that the Eastern Mindanao Command has acknowledged the terror threat as part and parcel of challenges situations, albeit difficult, faced by the military.

Duterte declined to give details of his conversation with President Aquino, but said that the nation’s highest leader was specifically concerned about the threat posed by Abdul Basit Usman.

This sense of urgency is what prompted him to call Duterte, opting to do so himself than pass the task off to his security officials.

Usman is a bomb-making expert with connections to the Abu Sayyaf. Intelligence reports said that Usman, earlier reported dead, is a big threat to security in the south.

The terror suspect has a $1-million bounty for his capture, and is likewise considered by US authorities to be a threat to US and Filipino citizens and interests.

It is believed that Usman responsible for several past bombings, and is now training Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, a breakaway faction of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, in bomb-making.