Ports in Bohol and the rest of the Visayas have been placed on alert after the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in the region received bomb threats from a group claiming to be the New Peopleâ€™s Army (NPA).
This was disclosed by Yolando Ponce, Tubigon Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) manager, to media on Wednesday morning.
According to Ponce, PCG Ormoc on Saturday received a bomb threat via text messages from a person claiming to be a member of the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippinesâ€“NPAâ€“National Democratic Front).
The anonymous texter sent five messages through mobile number 09128494823 which threatened to detonate a bomb at the Ormoc pier and other seaports in Leyte.
In one of the messages, the suspect said that they are eyeing to include PCG commanders as casualties in the explosions while claiming to be able to infiltrate and bomb piers in the region.
The texter further threatened to bomb PCG stations while highlighting the seriousness of the threat.
â€œBaka sabihin niyo biro lang. Pwede kami mag sample ngayon din,â€ the suspect said. â€œStation niyo pasabugin namin.â€
However, Ponce clarified that there are no direct threats to Bohol but asserted the need for tighter security due to the nearness of Leyte.
Authorities still also have to verify the threats and that if these were indeed from the rebel group, he added.
According to Ponce, security measures have been implemented in the Tubigon port with the assistance of the police and military.
Stricter inspections for vehicles particularly motorcycles with no plate numbers entering the port are are also being carried out.
Ponce said that the same measures are also being implemented in other Bohol seaports as he urged the public to be vigilant and to report suspicious activities and personalities to authorities. (Allen Doydora)