Military verifying report on Sri Lankan suicide bombers

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Saturday (Aug. 10) said it is still verifying news reports claiming that Sri Lankan suicide bombers have managed to slip undetected in the country to train local terrorists in bomb-making and conduct attacks on churches and other targets in Northern Luzon.

“We have to validate that report with other agencies of government. The information immediately available are reports coming from media. We already have some information that we are checking with another agency. We will update you,” AFP spokesperson, Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in a message to reporters.

As this develops, he also urged the public to remain calm and continue with their normal activities.

However, Arevalo said Filipinos should remain vigilant and immediately report unusual or suspicious activities to authorities.

“Report their unusual observations to the AFP and PNP (Philippine National Police),” he added.

Earlier, the AFP spokesperson said verifications being conducted by AFP’s Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) on the supposed terrorist plot to attack Northern Luzon cities and churches in Northern Luzon have so far yielded negative information.

Despite this, the AFP will continue to monitor and conduct surveillance operations in the NOLCOM area-of-operations to ensure that the military will not be caught flat-footed.

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.

“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 an information is, we do verification. We have to take, as we have been instituting, appropriate security measures in either case,” the AFP spokesperson stressed. PNA