President Rodrigo Duterte’s comment that he was pondering of arming civilians was not a policy route however was meant to elevate public vigilance towards terrorists, Secretary Ernesto Abella, presidential spokesperson, stated on Thursday.

In a briefing at Malacañang Palace, Abella instructed reporters that Duterte was merely making a “dramatization” to elevate public vigilance towards the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

“In a sense it was a dramatization of making sure that security is raised up in the area,” Abella stated.

Last Wednesday, In a speech in Bohol after a secutiy briefing, Duterte stated he was contemplating arming civilians towards the Abu Sayyaf terrorists.

READ: Duterte affords P1M bounty for every Abu in Bohol

“Well, I intend also to arm the civilians and I will include the civilians,” Duterte stated. “If you kill someone, you don’t have to worry. You just go to the police and make the report and state your truth. You have nothing to worry, I’ll take care of you. I’ll pardon you or whatever.”

But Abella stated Duterte’s assertion was “not a policy direction.”

“There’s no paper to support that,” Abella stated. “But what I’m saying is that this is his intention to raise security. He has a way of underlining what he wants to do.”

During his Bohol go to, the President additionally supplied a P1-million bounty for every member of the Abu Sayyaf Group who had eluded police and navy operations in Inabanga city Bohol after a lethal conflict final week.

The police and the navy clashed with the Abu Sayyaf on April 11, throughout which six ASG members had been killed, together with sub-leader Muammar “Abu Rami” Askali.

Despite the phobia attck, Abella stated Bohol, together with the remainder of the Philippines, was basically “definitely” protected.

“The PNP’s Regional Public Safety Battalion is also available in Bohol and in the other areas, okay,” he stated. “So in other words, the administration and the military is looking after the security in the area, in the region.”

Abella stated the federal government had completed “due diligence” to deal with safety issues of foreigners touring to the nation.

“As far as we can, as far as we have, we have done our due diligence regarding the matter,” he stated. “However, on the whole, the tourists’ interest in the Philippines continue to surge. So it will all even up.” /atm

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