Use of improvised explosive devices vs politicians feared
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - March 19, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Army commander Lt. Gen. Noel Coballes fears improvised explosive devices (IEDs) may be used against politicians during the May elections, according to the US Army.

Coballes was quoted in an article on the US Army website as having made the statement during a visit to Hawaii last month.

“This May, the Philippines will be holding elections for midterm congressional seats and local seats in the provinces and municipalities,” Coballes was quoted as saying.

“Every election cycle sees a spike in IED activity and this year will be no different. We have a mandate to protect all Filipinos. We might see an increase in IED explosions – it could be targeting our own soldiers, but in my opinion they will be targeting politicians.”

However, Coballes denied having made the statement during his visit to Hawaii.

“We made a visit but I did not make such statement,” he said in Filipino. 

The US Army said Coballes visited Hawaii from Feb. 3 to 9 as guest of Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, commander of the US Army Pacific.

Coballes was reportedly briefed about the capabilities of the Asia-Pacific Counter IED Fusion Center.

The center is the executive agent for US Pacific Command for all counter IED intelligence gathering and training.

The US Army said the center’s main mission is to prepare US forces for overseas contingency operations.

“The center has also trained more than 2,000 soldiers from 11 partner nations to include the Philippines,” the article said.

Coballes was impressed by the capabilities of the center, the US Army said.

                     

ARMY ARMY PACIFIC ASIA-PACIFIC COUNTER COBALLES FRANCIS WIERCINSKI FUSION CENTER NOEL COBALLES PACIFIC COMMAND THIS MAY
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