Palawan terror plot bared
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY — The provincial government of Palawan has gone public with an intelligence report warning of a plot by Abu Sayyaf to sow terror in the province through kidnappings and advised local governments and tourism establishments to put extra security measures in place.
The intelligence report claimed that a unit of Abu Sayyaf made its way to Palawan from Sulu.
No further details were available.
The military has been regularly sharing intelligence reports of this kind to local governments but this was the first time that the provincial government raised an alarm over such a report since the 2001 kidnapping of tourists in the resort Dos Palmas by Abu Sayyaf.
“We believe the threat is credible enough so we alerted all our mayors and tourism operators, including barangay officials to be careful, be aware of their surroundings, and be vigilant,” Teodoro Matta, provincial administrator, said.
The provincial government’s warning was circulated through text messaging and in social media.
Matta said the provincial government and officials agreed that “the best weapon against terrorism threat is public awareness and vigilance to protect communities as a whole.”
“What business we may lose in making this public is better than them being able to really come in and do something more serious,” he said.
The provincial advisory encouraged citizens to report to the military’s Western Command, the Philippine Coast Guard or the Philippine National Police any suspicious personality or activities of groups of people that may pose a possible security threat.
Palawan is home to many tourist spots including El Nido, Coron and Calamian Islands, Tubbataha Reef and various other natural islands and resorts.
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