AFP spokesperson, Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo. (File photo)


MANILA -- Efforts are now underway to validate reports claiming that terrorists will conduct attacks on targets in the Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) area-of-responsibility (AOR).

"On 02 August 2019, we received information that is, up to this moment, being validated by our intelligence operatives. This is about reported possible terror attacks, subject to verification, in named areas in the NOLCOM AOR. For which, a memorandum was written," said Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, in a message to reporters Monday.

Arevalo was referring to an "alert memo" received by the NOLCOM stating that a "Crusader City" with business centers and "Crusader Churches" in Northern Luzon are being targeted for attack.

"The memo was intended for our intelligence units in the NOLCOM AOR," he added.

While stressing that the document is genuine, Arevalo said the intent for issuing it is primarily for verification as to the reliability of the source and the veracity of the information.

"Our SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) dictates never to take chances by dismissing the information outright or believing it as gospel truth. Because no matter how doubtful or credible (a piece of) information is, we do verification. We have to take, as we have been instituting, appropriate security measures in either case," the AFP spokesperson stressed.

With this development, Arevalo said military intelligence personnel, in cooperation with other relevant government agencies, are vigorously pursuing leads to validate the veracity of the report, deter its occurrence if found true, secure and protect the people, and contain the threat.

"We advise our countrymen to remain calm and continue with their daily and routine activities—never to be stopped or deterred by such unconfirmed report," he added.

Arevalo said the AFP is also urging everyone to be vigilant and actively involved in monitoring and reporting any suspicious people or activities in their communities.

"Terrorism will prosper only if we will let our guards down," he said. (PNA)