"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.
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.