Metro police heightens intelligence to deter terror attacks

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Motorcyle-riding policemen begin patrolling EDSA in Quezon City on Friday as part of the beefed-up security for Metro Manila to thwart a terrorist attack. There are reports that terrorist groups responsible for deadly bombings in Mindanao recently could launch attacks in Metro Manila. PHOTO BY MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

Motorcyle-riding policemen begin patrolling EDSA in Quezon City on Friday as part of the beefed-up security for Metro Manila to thwart a terrorist attack. There are reports that terrorist groups responsible for deadly bombings in Mindanao recently could launch attacks in Metro Manila. PHOTO BY MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

THE National Capital Regional Police Office (NCRPO) has alerted the intelligence units of its five police districts amid reports that members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) are reportedly in Metro Manila for their “test mission.”

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NCRPO Director Chief Supt. Marcelo Garbo Jr. said he has ordered the five police districts to strengthen their intelligence-gathering operations to deter possible threats of terrorism.

Reports indicated that the young BIFF recruits are to conduct bombings on select targets similar to the recent blast in Cagayan De Oro, which killed eight people and wounded 48 others. Saji Mukamad Abdul, one of the few young men trained by Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) to detonate improvised explosive devices, said the attacks would set the foundation for jihad or holy war.

Although the BIFF has claimed responsibility for the bombing, former Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza is confident that the present administration is gaining grounds in maintaining peace negotiations with all the groups claiming to be one with the Bangsamoro people.

“BIFF group has its own agenda. What they are doing is real terrorism,” he said.
The NCRPO has also deployed additional 500 policemen throughout Metro Manila as part of its intensified security measures—150 were assigned to the Quezon City Police District (QCPD); 150 to the Southern Police District (SPD); 75 to the Northern Police District (NPD); 75 to the Eastern Police District (EPD); and 50 to the Manila Police District (MPD).

While the Philippine National Police (PNP) has not raised any alert status in the capital, security in embassies has been tightened. Garbo likewise appealed to the public to remain vigilant.

“I have told my men to take all information seriously. We are also asking the public to report to us any suspicious activities or threats they receive in their communities,” Garbo said.

The public may call or send text messages to 0915-8888181 or 0999-9018181, or contact the NCRPO through its Twitter account @NCRPOReact, and Facebook account NCRPOReact.

Ritchie A. Horario  and Jing Villamente

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