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PIA Press Release
2007/12/08

PGMA cites importance of security to ensure RP's economic prosperity

Manila (8 December) -- Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Avelino Razon assured President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today that police authorities are conducting massive manhunt operations against the remaining Magdalo soldiers and other individuals involved in the failed Manila Peninsula siege last Nov. 29.

Razon made the assurance as the President reminded him that police authorities should prioritize the immediate arrest of the erring soldiers so that the economy, and the country and the people as a whole, will not be put in danger again.

"Marapat maging masigasig ang buong Kapulisan at Sandatahang Lakas sa pagtugis ng ilang nalalabing tauhan na sangkot sa pag-aalsa upang hindi na muling magambala ang bayan," the President told Razon and other police officials present in the National Security Council (NSC) Cluster-Cabinet Group video conference at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel this afternoon.

"The people are grateful to our soldiers and police for defending our democracy and Constitution. We must remain vigilant against groups exploiting grievances to grab power for their own selfish ambitions," the President said in a statement she issued from Seville, Spain, where she proceeded after winding up her 24-hour working visit to London Thursday afternoon.

Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro also informed the President that because of the arrest of Pfc. Alvin Celestino, a Magdalo group member who escaped in the heat of government assault at the Peninsula Hotel, the general security of the country is now at normal level.

"General Security is good and we believe that threat has been virtually handled," Teodoro said.

According to Razon, Celestino was arrested by the Aviation Security Police at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) when he tried to board a Northwest Airlines flight bound for Detroit, Michigan last Wednesday morning.

In his report during the NSC Cluster- Cabinet Group Meeting at the Paranaque Room of Makati Shangri-La, Razon informed the President that the security situation in the country, particularly in Metro Manila, is back to normal.

He said, however, that the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and the Special Action Force (SAF) are still in full alert along with other PNP units and the civil disturbance management team.

With the arrest of Celestino, only Marine Capt. Nicanor Faeldon is still at-large and subject of the ongoing massive manhunt operations of the PNP, Razon told the President. (OPS) [top]

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