SECURITY HAS BEEN tightened around Zamboanga City with Mayor Beng Climaco telling police and military authorities to deny terrorists the opportunity to sow fear among locals.
Climaco has met several times with police and military commanders to ensure the safety of everybody. She asked security forces “to be on their toes 24/7 to ensure the safety and security of the people” and called on the public to support and cooperate with the police and military in the implementation of security measures.
“Deny the terrorists the opportunity to conduct terror in our area of responsibility,” she told police and military commanders.
Among those that the mayor met were Brigadier General Froilan Quidilla, the regional police chief; Colonel Joseph Thomas Martir, the local police chief; Colonel Antonio John Divinagracia, army commander of the Task Force Zamboanga; among other senior security officials.
Former chief of National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and First Gentleman Major General Trifonio Salazar also participated in some of the security meetings.
The tight security was part of the celebration of the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival and after the arrest of four suspected Abu Sayyaf militants in Barangay Baliwasan here.
Police said various explosives and an improvised bomb, including five 40mm mortars, ANFO or ammonium nitrate fuel oil, ammunition, blasting caps and two cellular phones and ammonium nitrate hidden in a bamboo and plastic containers were among those seized from the men – Aljiver Habibula, 35; Omar Julaspih, 22; Rody Marail, 36; and Nash Amik, 32.
The suspects, all from the southern province of Sulu, were captured after police commandos raided their hideout in the seaside village of Baliwasan Grande, according to Major Helen Galvez, a regional police spokesperson. She said various law enforcement agencies and military forces participated in the security operations that led to the capture of the suspects.
Quidilla lauded the troops for the capture of the four men. He also urged the public to stay vigilant and report to authorities suspicious persons. “We encouraged the community to be more vigilant and report all suspicious persons in their areas,” he said.
Just recently, marine soldiers and police forces also captured an Abu Sayyaf fighter, Amran Dala, in the village of Mercedes. Dala, a native of Basilan province, was being linked to the 2009 beheading of kidnapped Filipino man, Marquez Singson, and two Chinese nationals Michael Tan and Oscar Dee; and the 2015 bombing of a water pipeline in the province and the beheading of a soldier during an Abu Sayyaf attack there. (Zamboanga Post)
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