GENERAL SANTOS CITY: The Police Regional Office (PRO) 12 has raised the security alert in some parts of the region in wake of the killing on Saturday of three alleged sympathizers of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in a clash in Maasim town in Sarangani province.
Supt. Romeo Galgo Jr., PRO12 public information officer, said on Monday that all police units in the region are under heightened alert as they move to avert possible retaliatory attacks from local armed group Ansar Al-Khilafah Philippines.
The slain suspects have been tagged as members of the group, which had pledged support to the ISIS.
Galgo appealed to the public to be vigilant and immediately report to authorities any suspicious activity in their communities.
The slain suspects were identified as Abu Sabana of Barangay Daliao in Maasim; Jomar Harid of Colong Colong in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat; and Arthur Tagum of Lumatil in Maasim.
They were killed in a clash with operatives from the police Special Action Force around 5 p.m. last Saturday at Sitio Upper Lebe, Barangay Daliao in Maasim.
Recovered at the site were a carbine rifle, an M-79 grenade launcher, a rifle scope, a black flag bearing the ISIS logo and an empty shell of an M-203 rifle grenade.
Galgo said two of the slain suspects–Harid and Tagum–were allegedly involved in the grenade attack near the municipal police station of Maasim last June 20 that killed a policeman and injured five others.
He added that the y have expanded their manhunt for the other members and leaders of the Ansar Al-Khilafah, especially its alleged founder Mohammad Jaafar S. Maguid alias “Tokboy.”
Police teams have been monitoring the movements of Maguid, who is facing murder and multiple murder charges over a string of terror attacks in the area.
The group is highly mobile and had been constantly moving from one place to another in portions of Sarangani and Sultan Kudarat provinces.