MANILA - How serious is the terror threat in Davao?
According to Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma, there is a "high degree of reliability" in the information received by Malacañang that prompted President Aquino to call up Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to discuss a potential terrorist threat in the south.
"An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure...Dapat matatag tayo pero mahinahon," he told radio DZMM.
He said the Eastern Mindanao Command acknowledged that the terror threat is part of the daily challenges faced by the military.
Duterte said the President was particularly concerned about the threat posed by Abdul Basit Usman that he himself made the call instead of just delegating it to his security officials.
Duterte though refused to give details of his conversation with the President.
Usman, who has links with the Abu Sayyaf, is a bomb-making expert. The intelligence community said Usman poses a big threat to security in the south.
Usman was reported to have been killed by an American drone attack near the South and North Waziristan tribal regions in the Afghanistan border on Jan. 4, 2010.
Usman, who has a $1-million bounty, is considered by US authorities to be a threat to US and Filipino citizens and interests.
The militant, believed to have orchestrated several bombings, is reportedly training Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters bandits on bomb-making.
RADIO DZMM, June 30, 2014