AFP: No serious threat seen on ASEAN Summit

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) allayed the public’s fears of any serious threat to the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit this week.

In a press briefing in Malacañang on Tuesday, April 25, AFP spokesperson Brigadier General Restituto Padilla, Jr. said they do not see any serious threat but authorities are prepared for any worst-case scenario.

“On the issue of ASEAN, the Armed Forces is part of the task force. The security and the one in charge of safeguarding and ensuring the events under ASEAN hosting goes on well is composed of a lot of agencies,” Padilla said. “We are all part of this team entrusted to ensure that the activities are held without any hitch.”

“We don’t see any threat right now, no serious threat that is in the radar screen but our planning is always based on worst-case scenarios,” he said.

“So whatever worst-case scenarios that we anticipate that could happen, then adequate preparations and plans are laid down to meet these scenarios,” he added.

Padilla assured that the Joint Task Force – National Capital Region (JTF-NCR) is fully equipped with whatever they need and the AFP has provided whatever it is that they will still need just in case of any contingency.

The AFP spokesperson meanwhile assured that the terror threat in Bohol has already been addressed as he called on tourists not to cancel their tour reservations.

It will be recalled that government forces clashed with the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Bohol last week.

“The Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police [are] happy to inform you that the threats we faced in the island of Bohol and the other are confirmed reports that have been coming our way as well as to the public regarding dangers posed by terrorists in our tourists areas is already addressed,” Padilla said.

In the same briefing, Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the Philippines is gaining momentum as a foreign direct investment (FDI) destination.

Abella said that FDI inflow last year reached $7.9 billion, exceeding the full-year target of $6.7 billion, and 40.7 percent higher compared to 2015.

“The President made the commitment to prioritize a better life for all, to improve lives by reducing poverty by rebuilding trust in government and peace in our borders,” Abella said.

“We’re gathering more momentum as a growing number of investors notice the positive results of our economy which rests on solid economic fundamentals, increased spending for crucial infrastructure, tax and constitutional reforms and a relentless drive to create a peaceful environment for business to flourish,” he added.

Abella also noted that the projects registered with the Board of Investments (BoI) have increased by 67 percent in first quarter of 2017 or from 72 to 122 projects.

“Once operational, these projects are seen to generate about 36,115 jobs or an increase of 181 percent over the 12,841 jobs generated in the first quarter of 2016,” Abella said, adding that these investment projects are also expected to create 6,884 new jobs in agriculture and 24,367 new jobs in investment and housing projects; and 3,038 new jobs for the manufacturing-related projects.### PND