MANILA, Philippines -- Military troops in Metro Manila will go on the highest alert level starting Monday midnight after President Benigno ?Noynoy? Aquino III leaves for the United States for a week-long visit, according to the spokesman of the military?s metro command.
The National Capital Region Command (NCRCOM) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines would go on red alert as standard operating procedure during the President?s trips abroad, a spokesman said.
?There are no threats. Everything is normal. Our troops, in coordination with the PNP (Philippine National Police) will continue to conduct security operations and will continue to monitor? the situation, said the NCRCOM spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Arman Rico.
But unlike its practice during the administration of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the AFP will not put all of its forces on red alert for the duration of Aquino's first foreign visit. He is set to leave at 10:30 p.m. Monday.
Brigadier General Jose Mabanta Jr., the military spokesman, said ground commanders could raise or lower their alert status depending on their local situation.
?The Armed Forces has not heightened the alert level. The decision to heighten the alert level is left to the commanders on the ground,? Mabanta said.
?This is something different to what it used to be during past presidential trips where a certain alert level has been placed. This time (the decision to raise an alert level) is placed on the ground commander,? he added.