By AARON RECUENCO
Police forces in Metro Manila were placed yesterday under heightened alert following the alleged car bombing in Basilan that left 10 people dead.
Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, director of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), said the hoisting of heightened alert status comes with deployment of additional police beat patrols and the intensification of intelligence-gathering to monitor any threats that may be carried out in Metro Manila.
“We should always be ready, prepared here in Metro Manila with what happened in Lamitan, Basilan,” said Eleazar.
“That is the reason why we are upgrading our alert status in order for us to be prepared. We don’t want to have a spillover of attacks here in Metro Manila,” he added.
On Tuesday, an alleged foreign-looking man set off a bomb stuffed inside a car he was driving near a military detachment in Lamitan, which killed 10 people that included himself.
The alleged car bombing through a suicide bomber was very rare in the Philippines, but the incident in Basilan caused security officials to be alarmed.
Security officials, however, are still conducting investigation to determine if what happened in Basilan was a case of suicide bombing.
It was recalled that at the height of terror attack in country several years ago, some foreigners had tried to recruit Filipinos for suicide bombing attacks to the point that one of the foreigners allegedly did an actual demonstration of suicide bombing in Mindanao.
But the attempt to recruit Filipino suicide bombers reportedly failed.
Among those killed in Basilan bombing on Tuesday were a soldier, militiamen and civilians that include a 0-year old boy. The attack also wounded several other victims.
Based on the initial intelligence information assessment following the Basilan bombing, Eleazar said they have not yet received any credible report about possible attack in Metro Manila.
He, however, said that they are now taking all the measures in order to foil any attempt to so.
Aside from police deployment, Eleazar also sought for the cooperation and assistance of the public.
“We are encouraging the public to be vigilant. Please help us maintain peace and order here in Metro Manila,” said Eleazar.
“If they see or monitor something or someone suspicious, please report this immediately to us,” he added.