MANILA—In the wake of the twin explosions that rocked Quiapo district last week, a senator on Tuesday urged the government to also prioritize counter-terrorism efforts aside from its ongoing campaign against illicit drugs.
Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, member of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, suggested a balanced allocation of law enforcement resources between the war on drugs and other public safety priorities such as terrorism.
Despite the pronouncement of the Philippine National Police that the blasts have nothing to do with terrorism, Gatchalian is worried that these would encourage terrorists within the region to launch attacks in the Philippines.
“These bombings serve as a tragic reminder that there are many public security issues aside from illegal drugs that deserve the attention of law enforcement authorities,” Gatchalian said.
He explained that the government should manage its law enforcement manpower and intelligence resources wisely to make sure that all its bases are covered “from counter-terrorism efforts to the war on drugs.”
“The last thing we want is for terrorist groups to get it into their heads that the Philippines is an easy target that they can use to promote their despicable agenda,” Gatchalian said.
Meanwhile, the neophyte senator also urged the government to fully mobilize the country’s top national defense and security body, National Security Council, to neutralize possible terrorist threats.