MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) - The Philippine military's National Capital Region Command (NCRcom) is observing Red Alert, the highest security status, in Metro Manila following President Benigno Aquino III's departure for the U.S. Monday night.
Lt. Col. Armand Rico, NCRcom spokesman, said they are raising their alert status, from Blue to Red effective 12 midnight local time.
"We are implementing a standard operating procure every time our President goes out of the country," he said. The military's lowest alert status is White.
Rico said they have not monitored any threat in Metro Manila, but assured both the military and police force will maintain peace and order in the capital despite Aquino's absence.
"We have enough forces, ready to respond to any eventuality," he said.
He said the Red Alert status will be observed until the President returns home from his trip.
As to the other parts of the country, Armed Forces of the Philippines Spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta said that the military leadership is giving unit commanders the prerogative to raise their alert status.
Aquino will be leaving for the U.S. Monday night to attend the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York and meet with U.S. business leaders. He will return to Manila on Sept. 28.