By Francis Wakefield
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has not monitored any potential threats that could jeopardize the third State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte tomorrow (July 23, 2018).
In a statement, AFP Public Affair chief Col. Noel Detoyato, said as of yesterday, they have not received intelligence reports that local terrorist groups are planning to conduct attacks to disrupt tomorrow’s SONA.
“As of this report, the AFP has not monitored any threat from local terrorist groups,” Detoyato said.
“However, its forces will continue to be on a proactive stance against all threats of violence and will exert every effort to preserve the peace, particularly in the National Capital Region (NCR) where the seat of the government is in,” he added.
Detoyato, however, asked the public to be vigilant and report to authorities any suspicious individuals or groups who might pose a threat to Monday’s SONA and other related activities.
“The AFP calls on our people to report to authorities any suspicious individuals and activities in their surroundings. The fight against terrorism and the preservation of peace are a shared responsibility of everyone,” Detoyato said
On Friday, about a thousand soldiers from the AFP General Headquarters (GHQ) and AFP Wide Service Support Units (AFPWSSUs) assembled at the GHQ Canopy Area in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, to prepare for President Duterte’s SONA.
Detoyato said the AFP has accounted all available Officers and Enlisted Personnel with the exception of those who were on duty manning their respective units and offices.
“These troops are on standby mode ready for dispatch to support the Philippine National Police (PNP) which is leading security efforts during the occasion,” Detoyato said.
No less than AFP Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr. attended the mustering of troops to express his gratitude to the soldiers.
He thanked them for their dedication to their duty, and wished for them to have a happy weekend inside the camp.
As part of its measures, the AFP raised the alert level to ‘red’ within GHQ and AFPWSSUs since 8 a.m. Friday to indicate their immediate readiness in responding to any threat that may arise during the occasion.
“The Joint Task Force – National Capital Region (JTF-NCR) will take the lead in supporting the PNP’s operations. It will deploy 1,021 personnel from the Army, Air Force, and Navy,” Detoyato said. They will be complemented by four armored vehicles, 16 M35 trucks, 19 KM450, 7 ambulances on standby, and seven (7) Special Purpose Vehicles,” Detoyato said.
“Moreover, the JTF-NCR will position three Infantry companies, two infantry platoons, seven Civil Disturbance Management Companies, three Search and Rescue Response teams, one Air Defense Asset team, and two CBRNE Teams,” he added.