PNP, military urged to tighten security in Zambo Norte towns
Dapitan City (18 February) -- As there were sightings of armed groups in some towns in the third congressional district of Zamboanga del Norte, Gov. Rolando E. Yebes recently directed the military and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to tighten security in some areas of the province especially Sirawai and Godod towns.
Reports recently disclosed that a government soldier was killed when armed rebels attacked as military outpost in Sirawai town, some 280 kilometers south of Dipolog.
It was also learned that residents of barangay Binuangan in Godod town had evacuated to the neighboring barangays upon learning that some armed rebels believed to be Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) members occupied their farm areas.
The provincial governor assured the residents of these areas that such incidents were already reported to AFP Chief of Staff Alexander B. Yano who in turn assured the governor to take appropriate action.
It could be remembered that during the recent meetings of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP)-Zamboanga del Norte chapter, Sibuco Mayor Norbi Edding bared his fear upon learning that a thousand MNLF members have been undergoing training in the area and soon might put up their own camp in the municipality.
"I have directed the military and PNP to place more detachment units and augment their forces in the areas," Gov. Yebes said.
The governor believed that the recent visibility of the MNLF rebels in the third district towns was an affirmation of their plan to claim some southern towns of the province as part of their ancestral domain.
"I wish the mayors would be vigilant in order to prevent these men from settling here," the governor added. (PF/PIA-ZN) [top]