Philippines under "Red Alert" status as President leaves for ASEAN summit

18:44, October 26, 2010      

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The Armed Forces of the Philippines said Tuesday it will continue to put the country under "Red Alert" status following President Aquino's departure for a five-day visit to Vietnam.

Aquino left Tuesday morning for his state visit and to attend the 17th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Hanoi.

The military put the country under "Red Alert", its highest security status, last Friday in line with the conduct of the nationwide village polls.

Armed Forces Spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta said if the President did not go out of the country, the military would have lifted the Red Alert as the elections are already over, except in some areas.

"There is a possibility that we would have downgraded," Mabanta said, adding that Monday's village elections, compared to the last elections in 2007, were peaceful. He noted that there are lesser number of poll-related incidents and casualties.

The military traditionally declares a nationwide "Red Alert" whenever the President goes out of the country.

Mabanta said the "Red Alert" may be lifted upon the arrival of the President on Sunday.



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