In the Visayas, PNP, Army raise alert following MSU bombing
TACLOBAN CITY—The Philippine National Police and Philippine Army based in parts of the Visayas have heightened their alert on Monday following the deadly bomb blast during a Sunday Mass inside the campus of the Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City.
On Sunday, a day meant to herald the Advent of Christmas in the Catholic calendar became one of untold horror for a throng of mostly students attending the Mass inside MSU’s Dimaporo Gymnasium after a bomb ripped through the area, killing four and wounding 50 others.
The bombing was owned on Monday by local terror groups affiliated with the Islamic State. In Eastern Visayas, Brig. Gen. Noel Vestuir, commanding officer of the Army’s 802nd Infantry Brigade, said they have no intelligence report of any possible attack to be staged by a terror group in the region “[but] we are always on alert.”
The Army in the region continues to battle with members of the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Maj. Marjorie Manuta, the PNP Eastern Visayas regional information officer, said while there was no official order for the police force in the region to be on full alert due to the bombing incident in Marawi City, they remained vigilant.
She also advised the public to report to their nearest police station if they have information about suspicious activities to prevent possible commission of crimes.
In Central Visayas, policemen have been on heightened alert status since Sunday with more policemen to be deployed on the streets amid tightened security measures, said Police Brig. Gen. Anthony Aberin, the regional police director.
In Cebu City, Police Lt. Col. Janette Rafter, the city police’s deputy director for operations, said they were requesting for more policemen from the regional office.
“We beef up our security as well as our intelligence monitoring. One of the instructions from our regional director was to communicate and coordinate with the community to help in information gathering,” she said. —REPORTS FROM JOEY GABIETA AND NESTLE SEMILLA INQ