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Army, police in north, central Luzon ordered to block terror groups

/ 01:19 AM May 28, 2017

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Although martial law covers only Mindanao, Army and police officials in northern and central Luzon ordered their units to step up intelligence gathering to prevent terror groups from entering the regions and sowing fear there.

Maj. Gen. Angelito de Leon, commander of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division based in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija province, announced the enhancement of intelligence efforts after a meeting of the joint peace and security coordinating center on Friday.

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“While there are no monitored terrorist plans in the [area of responsibility] similar to the [Maute Group’s attacks] happening in Mindanao, the [division] in tandem with the Philippine National Police will initiate visibility patrols and checkpoints in various areas as needed,” De Leon said in a statement.

He said security operations have been undertaken in critical infrastructure and government projects to “prevent the [New People’s Army] from conducting criminal acts.”

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De Leon urged vigilance among civilians, asking them to report unusual activities in their communities.

Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino, Central Luzon police director, have placed all police officers on full alert status since May 24. Police personnel were directed to “strengthen target hardening on all vital installations, economic key points as well as places of convergences and ensure high state of operational readiness to thwart any hostile action that may be launched by terror groups.”

Aquino also canceled all leaves and passes of policemen in the region. —TONETTE OREJAS

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TAGS: 7th Infantry Division, Angelito de Leon, Checkpoints, Mindanao martial law
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