‘What advance information on terror threat?’ – Gazmin
DEFENSE Secretary Voltaire Gazmin yesterday denied claims by the Australian embassy that it received information on terror threat prior to its issuance of travel advisory last week.
Australia is among the six countries that issued travel advisories last week warning of possible terror attacks in Metro Manila and Mindanao. The five others are the US, Britain, France, Canada and New Zealand.
“Unfortunately, wala tayong natatanggap na advisory noong Nov. 1,” Gazmin said in a radio interview. “Nalaman na lang natin noong lumabas ‘yan at nagbigay lang sila ng kopya ng kanilang advisory noong nagkakagulo na tayo.”
He criticized the embassies of six foreign governments that issued the travel advisories for not following the protocols.
“Siyempre andidito sila sa bayan natin. Bago gumawa ng advisory na ganyan, i-coordinate sa atin,” Gazmin said.
The defense secretary said the decision of the embassies was baseless.
“Without basis ‘yun (terror threat). Hindi naman verified ‘yung kanilang report, at kung meron man sila, it was a very raw information,” he said.
Gazmin, a former Army chief, added that even the US, the country’s long-time ally, has also not shared information to them.
“As far as the Department of National Defense is concerned, we were never notified,” he said.
Earlier, the defense secretary brushed off the travel advisories issued by the six countries by saying that such travel advisories were nothing but normal occurrences. Anthony Vargas