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PIA Press Release
Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Robredo defends Palace’ decision on cellphone signal loss

By Domingo B. Natividad V

QUEZON CITY, Jan 10 (PIA) –- Interior and Local Government Sec. Jessie Robredo fended off criticisms hurled against the Aquino administration tagging its latest move of temporarily shutting off cellular phone signal in some Manila areas as an “overkill."

Robredo, in a television interview, said the terror threat to the nation’s security is real which forced the government, in a concerted effort, to direct telecommunications companies to momentarily halt its communication services in select areas related to the route of the Black Nazarene procession on Monday.

This, as cellphones can be used to detonate an improvised explosive device (IED) that could cause great harm to the sea of people.

“Nandoon po talaga ang posibilidad (nang pag-atake ng terorista) na ayaw natin mangyari (The possibility of a terror attack is imminent, and we do not want this to happen,” he said.

Robredo further described the action of the present administration as a “calibrated move para pangalagaan ang kaligtasan ng nakararami (meant to protect the safety of the people).”

He said the decision to temporarily discontinue the mobile service signal in Manila was decided as early as Sunday. It was not announced, though, so the actions of suspected terror groups will not be aided with this information.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Nicanor Bartolome, for his part, backed report, saying there had been sightings in Metro Manila of suspected terror group members from Mindanao.

“Minabuti ng Pangulo na magbigay ng warning sa lahat dahil malaki ang posibilidad (na magkaroon ng terror activity),” he said.

Intelligence reports on the movement of the terrorists were received as early as August 2011, and heightened the security alert level of authorities with these sightings on January 2 and 3 this year. (RJB/ DBNV/ PIA-NCR)

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