The United States National Intelligence Director John Negroponte has been on an unannounced visit to the Philippines since Tuesday to coordinate with Philippine officials on counter-terrorism efforts, according to local media reports Wednesday.
Negroponte arrived on board a US Air Force C-17A aircraft from Alice Springs, Australia, along with 18 US military officials, reported the local daily the Philippine Star.
The visit was confirmed by US embassy press attache Matthew Lussenhop who provided scant details on his visit, according to the daily.
The newspaper quoted Lussenhop as saying that Negroponte, who was US ambassador to the Philippines from 1993 to 1996, would stay for a couple of days to talk with his Philippine counterparts on Philippine-US joint efforts in counter-terrorism.
"They will talk about a broad range of intelligence and counter- terrorism measures and he will be here for a couple of days," he said.
Meanwhile, the Malacanang presidential palace said President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was scheduled to have a dinner with Negroponte during which they would discuss intelligence concerns and anti-terrorism efforts of both countries.
"The meeting would tackle matters of national security and the threat of terrorism, " said an official of the palace.
His arrival coincided with the closure of the US embassy in Manila on Tuesday, which was reportedly caused by a bombing threat. The US embassy denied any link between his visit and the embassy closure.