Press Release
November 14, 2010

Dealing with daily local 'terror threats' equally important

Notwithstanding the global terror threat reaching our shores, the government has to confront the more ominous form of local terror threat which stokes fear in our people on a daily basis.

Sen. Ralph G. Recto today said the everyday onslaught of crimes - be it petty or organized - are the more dangerous "terror threat" that the nation will have to address to get the respect of other nations that we're ready to face the more menacing terror threat on a global scale.

"Petty crimes are on the rise so does the organized ones. It seems everyone we know has a relative or a friend that has fallen victims to petty thieves from cell phone snatching to random break-ins," Recto said.

"We have chaotic streets, frat gangs lobbing grenades at each other, buses plunging into ravines and tourists being accosted not to be helped but mugged or assassinated," he added.

Recto said the country was already in a brink of "terror frenzy" even before the actual threat of a terrorist attack became the new national distraction.

He said there is a never a week that someone's vehicle is stolen at gunpoint or a precious life is taken via plain murder or recklessness on the streets and inside campuses.

Recto noted that in the past weeks, carjacking syndicates preyed on their victims with impunity, forcing families that we know to go "car-less" after their vehicles were taken at gun point.

In the past weeks, vehicles of a newspaper editor, a relative of top DFA official, TV-movie personalities and ordinary "John Does" were lost to daring day light car heists reminiscent of the Chicago heydays of mob gangs and bootleggers.

"While the threat of global terror should not be ignored, equally important is to attend to the more realistic threats of petty and organized crimes and man-made chaos," Recto said over radio station DZRH.

The senator said the daily "terror threat" could also be behind why the country only landed 97th out of the surveyed 169 countries that offer a high quality of life for its citizens.

"A stable peace and order situation, a vigilant well-trained security force and a citizenry sure of their safety are the best defense against a deadly terror plot," Recto, Senate ways and means chair and finance panel vice-chairman, said.

He called on concerned security agencies and other support government bodies to intensify current efforts to defeat these local "terror" threats.

"If we fail to address these daily home grown urban terror threats, I'm just afraid that we might have lost the momentum to participate in the big global fight against terrorism," the senator said.

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