Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Philippine Intelligence: an oxymoron defended by President Aquino

Philippine President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III is on the defensive. He insisted on an interview that the recent bus bombings were not covered by the travel advisories issued late last year by several governments warning of risks of terror activities in the country. Noynoy cited how buses were not included in the list of at-risk sites in the Philippines which included malls, airports, and conference centres among others.
"The basis for the travel advisory was a raw report, they were quoting an imminent attack on a mall. If I remember correctly, when they were passing it there wasn't a high confidence a level as to the veracity of the information given. But they give it in the oft chance na lest they be accused of not sharing pertinent information," Aquino said.

He added: "'Yung noon ho ang sinasabi, kung maalala ko, ang binabanggit nila ang target ay mall. 'Yung bus at 'yung mall malaki ho ang difference sa pagiging softer… But in the buses, ang layo 'nung pagiging softer. This was not identified in the previous reports."

[Latter paragraph translated: If I recall right, they mentioned a mall. There is a big difference between a mall and a bus...]

To be fair the US advisory posted on the US Embassy-Manila website (key excerpts of which I highlight in a previous article) did not mention buses...
Targeted sites may be public gathering places that are frequented by expatriates and foreign travelers, including American citizens. Such sites could include, but are not limited to, airports, shopping malls, conference centers and other public venues.

But Mr President misses the point. A list of possible targets does NOT, by any stretch of the imagination of any decent intelligence officer, define the scope of any countermeasures that are necessitated when a threat is identified. In other words, just because buses were not included in the travel advisory does not mean threats against public transport vehicles are necessarily to be ruled out.

And besides:

Is it only on the basis of travel advisories issued by foreign governments that Philippine intelligence services initiate their countermeasures?

Nice try, Mr President. With every word you issue to the public, you merely further reveal the extent of the incompetence of our government.

1 comment:

  1. di kasi marunong mag-bus ang mga VIP at mayayaman. me porsche naman *ubo*

    bakit? ano ba ang pinagkaiba ng laman ng VIP sa laman ng taong common?

    though there is social disparity it is undeniable that we are all equal in death.

    it would be better if there is a government carpool. all the members of congress in a bus, all the senators in another... and so on.

    edit: add a few more buses for the CBCP. what? feeling nila theocracy pa tayo. isali na lang natin.

    saya siguro no? who knows.. maybe they'll reach catharsis through near-death-experience.