Police in Central Visayas (CV) remained on alert bracing for a possible spillover of the clashes in Marawi City despite the absence of direct threats to the region, a police official said Thursday.
According to Police Regional Office 7 director Chief Supt. Noli Talino, a directive has been issued to CV police provincial directors and station commanders ordering heightened security on vital installations.
The PRO-7 was placed under full alert status in accordance with orders from Camp Crame as precautionary measure amid fierce firefights between Maute Group terrorists and security forces in Mindanao which erupted on Tuesday.
Intelligence monitoring across Central Visayas has also been beefed up while more security checkpoints have been set up, Talino said.
The police official also urged the public to remain calm despite the increased presence of police checkpoints along roads in the region.
He said that the augmented police visibility has nothing to do with the imposition of martial law in Mindanao, noting that the heightened security presence is intended to deter attacks.
In Bohol, stringent security has been implemented in entry and exit points such as seaports across the province, said Sr. Insp. Jojie Mananquil, chief of the Bohol police Provincial Intelligence Branch (PIB).
Monitoring of passengers from Mindanao in particular has been intensified, he added.
Yesterday, police monitored the arrival of 13 Davao-based Maranaos at the Jagna port, but the men from Mindanao were later on identified as “missionaries.”
The Maranaos arrived in the province to urge fellow Muslims who have stopped going to mosques to again visit their places of worship to pray, PO2 Jason Lurden of the Jagna police said.
The men from Mindanao intended to visit Muslim communities in Tagbilaran City, Jagna and Ubay, said Lurden.
Lurden also noted that they coordinated with the Muslim community in Pandan, Jagna which is led by Gasa Medal, an imam.
Medal reportedly vouched for the Maranao men noting that they are law-abiding citizens. (R. Tutas)