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PIA Press Release
2006/10/20

Police heightens security alert level in GenSan

By Cathy Apelacio

General Santos City (20 October) -- Police has heightened security alert in the city following the recent bombings in Tacurong City, Makilala and Cotabato City.

According to P/Sr. Supt. Alfredo Toroctocon, city police director, the police and the military have intensified visibility, foot patrols, and checkpoints in strategic locations in the city.

City Mayor Pedro Acharon Jr. also called on the people to be "vigilant and maintain perimeter defense."

"The city remains peaceful despite the incidents in neighboring provinces because of the efforts of government authorities and the cooperation of the civilians," he said expressing confidence that business in the city will remain stable in the wake of a series of blasts that shook Mindanao island in less than a week.

He also urged the Generals to immediately report to the nearest police precinct any "suspected-looking individuals in their area."

Toroctocon, on the other hand, advised the people to stay calm as "authorities are on top of the situation."

He also discredited text messages as credible sources of information saying they only agitate the public to panic. "Although it is a good dissemination medium but more often than not they cause intense public disturbance."

"Text messages informing public that there is bomb threat here and there should be verified first with the police," he said.

Meanwhile Armed Forces chief General Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said the military are in full gear to protect the people from harm admitting though that it is difficult for security forces to be "guarding all corners" of the country.

He said the fight against terrorism is a "national effort" asking the public to tip off security forces about the movements and whereabouts of terror suspects.

The military chief pointed out that "security is not the job of the military or the police alone…Civilians, because they are stakeholders themselves, should provide information. They can see every corner, they should be alert and vigilant." (PIA SarGen) [top]

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