AFP denies imminent danger despite travel ban issued by US, UK and Australia

Several local news outlets reported an urgent travel advisory issued by the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia yesterday, banning travel to the Philippines for "imminent" terrorist attacks.

"Australia has advised its citizens to exercise a high degree of caution in the Philippines because of the high threat of terrorist attack," according to Philippine Star. UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office warned its citizens through the agency's website that "attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travelers." While initial reports cited Mindanao as a higher risk for attack, newspapers also cited large shopping malls and convention centers as potential locations in Manila where threats can ensue.

Armed Forces spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr. said the military is looking into possible external threats but will leave internal security to the police, Philippine Star reported.

Mabanta also told the newspaper that "the AFP is currently "intensifying intelligence operations and training troops to address threats." However, the spokesman was quick to assure the public that there is no reason to panic yet.

"But let me make it clear that at this point there is no imminent danger," he said. "The most important is we are watchful and we are aware that there is a potential threat."

For more on this story, log on to ABS-CBN news and Philippine Star.

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