Police in predominantly Catholic Bohol have been placed on heightened alert in the aftermath of the twin blasts inside a Jolo, Sulu cathedral which killed at least 21 Mass-goers and injured 100 others on Sunday.
Police stations across the province have been directed to conduct regular patrols in the vicinity of churches and set up checkpoints in key areas, said Supt. Conrado Manatad, chief of the Bohol police’s Community Relations Branch.
“Since election, random checkpoint always g’yud na sa mga police station. At the same time, kanang mga checkpoint prevention pud na aron dili ta masudlan,” said Manatad in an interview with dyRD Balita on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Manatad called on Church leaders to employ private security guards for churches as the police force does not have enough personnel to provide round-the-clock security.
“Since nahitabo ang sa Zamboanga [sic], mo coordinate ta sa mga simbahan, ang mga hepe mo-encourage sa mga simbahan na mo kuha sila og security guard. Ang ato is mag-roving lang sa area. Kinahanglan g’yud, if possible, naa silay gwardya 24-7,” said Manatad.
Security guards will also help in preventing burglaries and theft cases, he added.
The nation’s entire police force was placed on heightened alert through the directive of Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde following the bombing of the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Cathedral.
Manatad noted that there is no imminent terror threat against Bohol but additional security measures have been implemented nonetheless.
Other than in churches, tightened security has also been set in more key areas including the airport, seaports, public markets and bus terminals, he said. (R. Tutas)