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PIA Press Release

Commentary: Ramadan 2006 witnesses bombings by Muslim militants

By Renee F. De Guzman

San Fernando City, La Union (18 October) -- It is indeed tragic that this year’s observance of Ramadan witnesses a number of bombings in different parts of Mindanao.

Ironically, as the Muslims chant the word “peace” at least 80 times to start the 10-night Peace Vigil of Ramadan, a bomb also rocked the Police Camp in Jolo, Sulu last Sunday October 15, even as a home made bomb was also defused by a police three hours before it was timed to explode near a public market in Pagadan City.

Also, last Tuesday a combined police and military operatives acting on tips from informants, seized 200 kilos of ammonium nitrate- an ingredient for making fertilizer and explosives transported from Jolo to Zamboanga City.

As more and more wounded and 6 people killed, authorities placed Mindanao under “extreme critical alert” – the highest four step terror warning.

The military also has placed Metro Manila under “moderate” terror alert to signify that the group with plan attack exists.

Amidst the assessment by the British Government that the terror plot in the country may be in the deadly stage, the Government continues to intensify anti-terror watch even as President Macapagal Arroyo assured everyone that the authorities are on “top of the situation.”

The Government has already put in place proactive security measures to protect vital infrastructures i.e. airports, ports, power plants, transmission lines and cell cites for communication along with the population centers like malls, schools and markets.

The administration calls upon the cooperation of the public in providing vital intelligence information to pre-empt and frustrate terrorist plans. As the President said, “the strong cooperation between a vigilant public and our security will deny the terrorists any room to carry out sinister plots.”

Muslim extremists reportedly staged the barbaric bombing activities to divert attention from the on-going United States - backed military offensive against Jemaah Islameyah and the Abu Sayyaf group on Jolo Island, and to avenge the recent capture of the wife of Dulmatin, a top Indonesian terror suspect believed to be hiding there.

These perverts profess to be Muslims but their barbaric acts are un-slamic. They are avowed terrorists and will carryout their diabolic agenda of sowing fear, terror and instability no matter what or where or against whoever.

We are not helpless however. As one nation, we just need to be united to fight this menace. For defeating terrorism lies not only in the hands of the law-enforcement authorities but also in the hands of the vigilant and cooperating public.

Vigilance of the people is now the most important linchpin in the fight against terror as we also join hands in our call for the Senate especially the oppositionists Senators to pass the Anti-Terror Bill once and for all, so that our security forces may have a better fighting chance in dealing with the terrorists. (PIA La Union) [top]

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