THE Philippine Coast Guard (PCG)-6 is on heightened alert against potential bombing threats in Western Visayas.
This, after two consecutive bombs exploded in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat that killed four persons and left 44 others injured.
A bomb also exploded in the Masbate port Monday.
Lieutenant Commander Ramil Palabrica, PCG-6 spokesperson, said they have deployed K9 dogs in all ports in the region since two weeks ago.
They are also coordinating with the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Army for information gathering on illegal port activities.
“We are very alert not only in Western Visayas but the entire country,” Palabrica said.
Stricter and thorough inspection of baggage will be enforced in ports.
Palabrica said they have not received reports of bombing threats in the region.
The heightened alert status also came following the explosion at Masbate Port in Masbate City on Sept 3.
The explosion occurred at 12:30 a.m., approximately 100 meters away from the PCG station where floating assets of the station are located.
Two newly procured aluminum boats were damaged. The one owned by the Army was destroyed while the other owned by the PCG was slightly damaged.
Witnesses claimed that prior to the explosion, a small motorized boat was seen roaming the vicinity.
Meanwhile, Iloilo City Mayor Jose Espinosa III said he already instructed the police and the coast guard to secure the vessels, including passengers, which dock at the ports.
“We need to secure the possible convergence areas of the culprits,” Espinosa said.
The mayor also appealed to the public to be vigilant and immediately report if they find potential improvised explosive devices (IED) in a building or other areas.
He also advised them to report to the authorities abandoned knapsacks, which may contain bombing devices.
Last Aug 28, components of an IED were found in the girl’s toilet at Lambunao National High School in Lambunao, Iloilo.
The Iloilo Police Provincial Office Explosives and Ordinance Division said those were bomb components but could not explode without blast cap or detonator.