To ensure peace and security in Palawan following the foiled terrorism incident in Bohol, the Western Command through Commander Lieutenant General Raul del Rosario has declared a heightened alert on Wednesday morning, April 12.
Speaking before the local media and inter-agency security group, Del Rosario said that naval assets have already been dispersed, air assets are on stand-by, and random check points, mobile patrols, as well as military visibility have already been initiated to ensure public safety.
“Pino-sition na natin sila [assets] sa mga key areas. The law enforcement agencies in Palawan are doing [our] best. We are wasting no time to come up with our coordinated actions,” he said.
Maritime patrols on sea lanes of communication and other mobility corridors have been intensified to deter the kidnap-for-ransom group from conducting activities in known tourist destinations in Palawan. It can be noted that in May 2001, tourists in Dos Palmas Resort in Puerto Princesa have been kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf Group.
Provincial Legal Officer Atty. Teodoro Jose Matta said that ever since the peace and order program was formed, Governor Jose Alvarez has a standing order to avoid another kind of “Dos Palmas kidnapping incident”.
PNP and Coast Guard are also doing their own actions in their respective areas, added del Rosario.
The Wescom Commander appeals to the public to remain calm. He asked everyone to report immediately any suspicious looking personalities. Suspicious bomb materials must be reported to law-enforcement agencies.
“Pagtulungan nating gawing hardened target ang Palawan. (“Let us all make Palawan a hardened target for terrorists),” del Rosario underscored.