US, PHL strengthen counter terrorism efforts

Justice Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II together with Undersecretary Erickson H. Balmes and Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente met with the team of US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Undersecretary for Intelligence and Analysis David J. Glawe on March 2 at Department of Justice (DOJ).

According to US Embassy in Manila, Aguirre and Glawe discussed the strong US-Philippine partnership to combat threats from terrorism and transnational organized crime.

“Their conversation reaffirmed our joint efforts to combat child exploitation, secure global aviation against terrorism threats, as well as identify and interdict criminals and contraband crossing our borders,” the embassy added.

“To effectively wage the global war against terrorism, we need to adopt a multi-faceted and a multi-pronged approach. This will require us to work closely with our allies and to maintain good working relations with them as we share knowledge and resources for the eradication of a borderless menace. The meeting with Undersecretary Glawe is a positive step towards that direction,” Secretary Aguirre said.

Aguirre said among the discussed topics were Advanced Passenger Information/Passenger Name Record, Enhanced information sharing, Sharing of Watch Lists/Access to Databases, Biometric Screening, Fraudulent Document Training, and Increased capability for internet/social media monitoring.

The US Embassy said that Undersecretary Glawe also met with other key partners in Philippine government, including Officer-in-Charge of the Department of Interior and Local Government Eduardo Año and leadership from the Anti-Terrorist Council, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the National Coastal Watch Center to identify ways to increase our collective security, facilitate secure trade and travel between the United States and the Philippines, and build on our successful cooperation as friends, partners, and allies.