PNP to boost operations in Northern Luzon to deter terror attacks
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) will strengthen its operations in areas within Northern Luzon after the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) received reports of possible terror attacks in provinces within the region.
PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said Tuesday this is one of his orders to his subordinates in areas within the jurisdiction of the AFP – Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom), such as Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, and Cordillera Administrative Region, to prevent atrocities from happening.
“Ang sinabi natin sa ating pulis doon is number one, to validate. Number two is while validating information, they have to maintain vigilance, and kailangan na nilang i-strengthen ‘yung intelligence, target-hardening measures, and police intervention activities doon like checkpoints, [Oplan] Sita, presence, visibility,” he said in a press briefing at Camp Crame, Quezon City.
(What we said to our police there is number one, they should validate the information. Number two, while validating the information, they have to maintain vigilance and strengthen intelligence monitoring, target-hardening measures, and police intervention activities like checkpoints, Oplan Sita, presence and visibility.)
He added that the local police should increase their visibility near churches, which he said have been the target of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to stir conflict between Christians and Muslims.
The AFP had earlier issued an “alert memo” ordering intelligence units of Nolcom to heighten intelligence monitoring amid reports that some establishments and churches are being targeted for a terror attack.
The memo said that ISIS is using the term “Crusader Cities” in describing target areas to fuel the “Bandar Crusade” or war between Christians and Muslims. “Crusaders Churches,” meanwhile, is the generic term for historic Catholic churches.
As of this time, Albayalde said the PNP will not raise its alert status in Northern Luzon and that the intelligence information mentioned in the memo will be jointly investigated by the police and the military.
“If need be, pwede kaming magtaas ng alert status kung may makita tayo na talagang may basehan (If needed, we can raise our alert status if we see there is a basis to do that),” he added. /je
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