Eastern Mindanao Command on heightened alert after Bohol attack
The Eastern Mindanao Command was placed on heightened alert following the entry of Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the province of Bohol early this week, a spokesman said Friday.
“Eastern Mindanao Command heightened its alert level after an Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) ? Philippine National Police (PNP) Joint Operations encountered Abu Sayyaf members in Inabanga, Bohol on April 11, 2017,” Major Ezra Balagtey said Thursday.
Balagtey said “the alert level was raised to prevent the ASG to conduct any diversionary act within the Command’s Area of Operations.”
“Also to prevent the NPAs to take advantage of the situation and conduct atrocities while communities are busy in celebrating the Holy Week,” he added.
In a text message to the Daily Manila Shimbun, Brigadier General Restituto Padilla, spkesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said "there has been no significant developments" on the ongoing pursuit operations against the terrorist group in Central Visayas as of yesterday.
Five members of the Abu Sayyaf are being pursued after six, including its leader Abu Rami, were killed in a battle with security forces.
The military said a total of 11 Abu Sayyaf members under Muamar Askali alyas Abu Rami entered Inabanga Monday night to abduct local or foreign tourists in the area.
Balagtey said after Tuesday’s encounter, the Tactical Operations Group 10 of the Philippine Air Force based in Cagayan De Oro sent two aircraft and other personnel to Bohol.
“They are providing additional capability in pursuing the terrorist remnants,” Balagtey said.
“Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao Mindanao likewise dispatched some of its personnel and equipment to provide additional naval capability to Central Command on April 12, 2017 as they continue to conduct pursuit operations,” Balagtey said.
Balagtey said troops in the different areas of Eastern Mindanao Command are coordinating with different local government units and other law enforcement agencies to strengthen security in various communities, installations and infrastructure. Robina Asido/DMS