PH Consulate in Guam stocks up on supplies amid North Korea’s missile threat
by Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News
This is the official residence of the Philippine Consulate in Guam.
Amid threats of a missile strike from North Korea, it now serves another purpose: a bunker for Filipinos living on the island, in case Pyongyang’s plans push through.
Here you’ll find stocks of water, emergency kits, and rolls of duct tape, which will be used to seal off doors and windows, against potential radioactive materials in a nuclear attack.
The Philippine consulate says things are normal in Guam.
But it won’t hurt to be ready.
“We issued alert level 1 advisory because we can see that the level of rhetoric between the United States and North Korea has not yet weakened. Alert level 1 means no change in our normal activities,” said Robespierre Bolivar, spokesperson of foreign affairs, in a statement.
“We encourage them to monitor news from credible sources. Wait for announcements from the government and the Philippine consulate.”
Consul General Marciano Borja, Philippine consulate in Guam, says, “There’s still no imminent threat even the homeland security officials, they are very clear that the security umbrella which provides layers of protection actually for Guam in the Mariana Islands are in place. Business as usual, pero ang sinasabi nga namin kaya naka-alert level 1 tayo, ‘wag nating ipagwalang bahala.”
Guam is a US territory in the Pacific Ocean, and is home to over 42,000 Filipinos.
The Filipino community is second only to the indigenous Chamorros in terms of population size on the island.
For many of them, it’s business as usual, as confidence in the capability of the US military to protect Guam remains high.
Guam’s local government is also ready in the event of a missile attack, citing that the island is no stranger to disaster preparations, with regular threats of typhoons, earthquakes and tsunamis.
Guam’s Lieutenant governor Ray Tenorio says, “Guam is in the same state of preparedness. We’re already ready for any possible threat to the island. The recent threat of the North Korea, the 4 missiles landing within 30-40 km is not something that we dismiss. Kim Jong Un has taken the plans and the indications are that they do not act at the moment, because it will appear as an imminent threat — but we are not taking it for granted.”
“Our military is prepared. We are protected,” he added. “We believe in he credibility of our military forces and our armed service members, and their reputation to make sure that the island is protected from any possible attacks.”
Guam welcomes the development with caution.
It’s a respite from the heated exchange of rhetoric between Pyongyang and Washington.