Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has urged authorities to tighten security at transport hubs, malls and other areas where large numbers of people converge.
Marcos aired this call on Tuesday as the country marks the 15th anniversary of the tragic Rizal Day bombings perpetrated by extremists linked to the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah that claimed 22 lives and injured over a hundred other individuals.
He noted that a few days ago, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the Abu Sayyaf launched separate attacks against the government’s military forces in Mindanao.
“While these attacks seem to be largely directed against the military forces, we must not be complacent. We must not allow the bombings that occurred 15 years ago to happen again,” Marcos said.
On December 30, 2000, five separate explosions rocked Metro Manila: in Plaza Ferguson in Malate, Manila; in a gas station in Makati City; in a bus in Cubao, Quezon City; in a cargo handling station at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City; and in a Light Rail Transit coach at the Blumentritt station in Santa Cruz, Manila, which caused the most number of casualties.
The senator cited reports that the BIFF claimed that its recent attacks were inspired by ISIS, who were behind the November terror attacks in Paris that left 129 dead and over 350 people injured.
“We must not allow extremism in any ground to grow,” according to Marcos, chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Government and sponsor of the Basic Law for Bangsamoro Autonomous Region or BLBAR meant to embody a peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.