No 'specific' threats vs embassies, PH says
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Monday, August 5, said it has not monitored specific threats to its embassies, but beefed up intelligence after the United States closed at least 25 posts due to security concerns.
“As regards our posts abroad, so far, they have not monitored any specific security threats, but they continue to monitor the security situation in their areas and they remain vigilant to ensure the safety of our personnel as well as the security of our citizens abroad,” Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Raul Hernandez said in a press briefing.
The Philippines, too, has not received any request from the US Embassy in Manila to beef up security, Hernandez said.
“Nevertheless, we are intensifying our intelligence gathering and making sure that we undertake appropriate measures to ensure the safety of the public, including foreign visitors, and also the personnel of the embassies here,” Hernandez said.
On Sunday, August 4, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the government has boosted security, but refused to divulge these measures.
Britain, France and Germany also closed their embassies in Yemen's capital of Sanaa on August 4 in the wake of the US warning late last week.
The US said its missions across the Middle East and Africa will be closed through Saturday, August 10, “out of an abundance of caution.”
The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Michael McCaul called it “probably one of the most specific and credible threats I've seen, perhaps, since 9/11.”
He said an attack appeared to be “imminent,” possibly timed to coincide with the last night of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com