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Philippine priest calls closing Australian Embassy an 'over-reaction'

The priest who chairs the Philippine government's peace council says the closure of the Australian and Canadian embassies near Manila due to alleged terrorist threats was an "overreaction" but underscored a lack of confidence in security forces.

It indicates a "very inefficient and corrupt image of law enforcement," Fr Eliseo Mercado Jr. told UCA News after the closure.

Mercado, chairman of the National Peace Council, said the foreign governments "overreacted" and, in closing, acted as "cooperators" with "terrorists".

Police officers and bomb experts guarded the two high-rise buildings in Makati that house the Australian and Canadian embassies after the missions closed temporarily because of the threats.

UCA News

Western diplomats prepare to quit Philippines after threat (Sydney Morning Herald 29/11/02)
Australian Embassy, Manila

4 Dec 2002