In the wake of Bohol terror due to Abu Sayyaf Group
TACLOBAN CITY- Police personnel in Eastern Visayas are in full alert in the wake of the incident in Bohol province that saw members of the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group, sowing threat in the said area.
Chief Inspector Ma. Bella Rentuaya, regional information officer of the Philippine National Police, said that the full red alert mode is just a precautionary measure to ensure safety across the region.
On December 28, 2016, bombs exploded at a public plaza in Hilongos, Leyte that injured 32 people.
Police authorities later claimed that those responsible for the bombing incident were members of the Maute terror group.
“We are in full alert. (We are conducting) close intelligence monitoring and intensified our security in all provinces, particularly along shorelines to seal off (for any possible intrusion) from the (terror) groups,” Rentuaya said.
She added that they have not received any intelligence report of any terror group in the region.
About 11 members of the Abu Sayyaf Group went to the town of Inabanga, Bohol reportedly to conduct kidnapping activity among tourists.
However, their act was thwarted due mainly to the help of the local residents. About five Abu Sayyaf members were killed by government forces in a firefight.
Rentuaya said that with a full alert status as directed by Chief Supt. Elmer Beltejar, police regional director, all police personnel in the region would not be allowed to take any vacation leave unless for extreme cases like being sick.
Rentuaya could not say how long the full red alert status would be enforced in the region that is experiencing a booming tourist industry.
Last year, more than 1.18 million tourists visited the region contributing around P10 billion to the economy of Eastern Visayas.
Rentuaya said that tourist police were also assigned to all major tourist destinations in the region like the Kalanggaman Island off the town of Palompon Leyte.
Kalanggaman, with its pristine water and long sand bar, is now considered to be the region’s top tourist destination.
By: JOEY A. GABIETA