Iloilo City on full red alert

SUSPECTED New People’s Army members swarm the town proper of Maasin, Iloilo when they raided the local police station. (Contributed photo)

ILOILO CITY Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog placed the metro in full Red Alert status at around 2 p.m. of June 18, 2017, three hours after suspected members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) raided the police station of Maasin in Iloilo province.

But Mabilog was quick to clarify that the declaration is not related to any security threat to the city.

“It is better to be prepared and alert, this is just a precautionary measure,” Mabilog said.

Mabilog ordered barangay captains and barangay officials as well as the barangay tanods and civilian volunteer organizations to “strictly monitor their respective barangays and report any suspicious movement that may compromise the peace and order situation of the city.”

Mabilog cited in particular the barangays that are situated as boundaries of the city and the province.

“The barangays are instructed to collaborate with their respective district police stations in the maintenance of peace and order within the territorial jurisdiction of the City of Iloilo,” Mabilog said.

The mayor called on the public to remain calm but vigilant.

“Let’s all stay alert and vigilant,” Mabilog said. He added the security status is in effect until the situation returns to “normal.”

Mabilog’s authority to put the city in full Red Alert was mandated in the General Welfare Act of the Local Government Code.

Last week, the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) alerted coastal barangays in the metro on the possible entry of terrorists who will escape Marawi and spread terror in the city.

Senior Supt. Zacarias Remus Canieso, ICPO director, said it is better to assume Iloilo City is a target.

The ICPO, through the Liga ng mga Barangay-Iloilo City Chapter, activated the Coastal Barangay Intelligence Network (CIBN) to strengthen the intelligence and information gathering in these areas.

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