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Beheading of Abu Sayyaf captive, Davao blast not linked to APEC – PNP chief

/ 04:52 PM November 18, 2015
PNP chief Director General Ricardo Marquez. SCREENGRAB FROM PNP PIO VIDEO.

PNP Director General Ricardo Marquez. SCREENGRAB FROM PNP PIO VIDEO.

MANILA, Philippines — There is no connection between the reported beheading of an Abu Sayyaf captive and the blast in Davao to the ongoing Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit this week, according to the chiefs of the country’s security agencies.

At the same time, security officials have assured the public that they are not disregarding the two crimes in Mindanao, saying these are being considered in adjusting security plans for the APEC.

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“These are very separate from the APEC. But we don’t disregard these events. When we were planning for the APEC, we have included worst case scenarios in our contingency planning,” said the Philippine National Police chief, Dir. Gen. Ricardo Marquez.

Marquez, commander of the Security Task Force APEC, assured that even with the terrorist attacks in Paris last weekend and the recent developments in Mindanao, they have not yet monitored any threat that might disrupt the APEC or the peace and order situation.

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On Tuesday night, a Malaysian captive was beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf in Indanan, Sulu, after the family failed to comply with the bandit group’s ransom demands.

The following day, a commuter van was bombed in Davao City, injuring two people.

The two crimes happened with the APEC summit ongoing in Manila this week, attended by 21 economic leaders and thousands of delegates from the Asia Pacific region.

Security preparations for the APEC were intensified in the aftermath of terror attacks in Paris last weekend, which left over 100 victims dead and 300 more injured.

Col. Restituto Padilla, spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said they have delegated the handling of the Mindanao crimes to the ground commanders so the military could focus on supporting the PNP in securing the APEC.

“The Security Task Force APEC is fully focused in fulfilling its mandate in regard to the APEC,” Padilla said in a press briefing at the APEC Multi Agency Coordination Center.

Like Marquez, he assured the public that the two crimes were not related to the APEC and that these should not alarm the public.

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“The security task force is on top of the situation and we are able to provide the needed security to ensure that the hosting of the APEC is safe and secure, and that the country is secure all over,” Padilla said.

“There is nothing to worry about since the security planning for the APEC is well laid. Everything has been thought of and planned for.  Everyone from the security sector is doing their part and there is no real cause for alarm,” he added.  SFM

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