The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) claimed Wednesday that a recent statement made by the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines about an intelligence assessment on potential terror strikes in six Southeast Asian nations, including the country, is no cause for alarm.

PCG said on its official Facebook page on September 15 that “in coordination with the military and law enforcement units, it sees no reason to be alarmed by the said issuance”.

In the same post, PCG commandant Vice Admiral Leopoldo Laroya said district commanders in various regions across the country have always been on intensified border protection measures and 24/7 seaborne patrol operations within their areas of responsibility. They strictly monitor vital sea lanes, as well as maritime transportation installations and infrastructures.

“As the third armed service of the country, the PCG never takes a break in upholding maritime security and ensuring the safety of fishermen and other mariners venturing into our maritime jurisdiction,” Laroya said in the statement.

“With the latest pronouncement of the Japan Embassy, rest assured that our men and women will not put their guards down and will continue to be vigilant in conducting precautionary measures for public safety. “Our intelligence officers and deployed personnel are always coordinating with the National Intelligence Committee, Anti-Terrorism Council, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Philippine National Police to assist in the implementation of the whole-of-nation approach in dealing with national security and public safety issues,” he added.

Moreover, Laroya called on the general public to remain vigilant and report to proper authorities any suspicious persons or activities in seaports, harbors, and coastal communities for immediate action.

In response to the Japanese Embassy report, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade has also directed Laroya to assure maritime stakeholders that despite the said report, they may continue with their normal operations. The PCG is performing necessary initiatives to safeguard national security and public safety at all times, especially in this time of the global pandemic, he said.

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