Mindanao city under highest security level-A A +A
Friday, September 16, 2011
COTABATO CITY (Updated 8:30 a.m.) -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) has placed Cotabato City under security alert level 3 -- the highest security alert of the PNP.
Integrated Police Operations Director Felicisimo Khu said Jemaah Islamiya-linked Basit Usman deployed 20 bomb makers in Cotabato City, North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat Wednesday night.
Khu said the 20 bomb makers were trained to create a bomb from an 81mm and 60mm cartridge of a mortar and may conduct test missions by detonating improvised explosive devices in crowded areas.
More than 400 police and military were deployed in streets in Cotabato City for security.
Marine soldiers also beefed up security in the Cotabato airport.
Boats cruising through rivers were also flagged down for inspection.
Khu said Task Force Kutawato, a joint military-police anti-crime group, is also monitoring the water tributaries surrounding the city where the bombs are possibly being sneaked into the city by the terrorists.
The Cotabato City Government has offered a reward to anybody who could provide information that could help preempt future bombing attempts and arrest those behind bombing incidents in the city.
The offer came following military intelligence reports citing plans of saboteurs to blow up three more bombs in the city this month, following the three bomb blasts.
"We are looking for three more bombs where the saboteurs are eyeing three local Catholic churches as targets according to a September 3 text message I received (from my sources)," Khu said.
"We plan to catch these culprits soon with the help of the local populace," he said.
Cotabato City is a delta crisscrossed by 32 small rivers and creeks. The two biggest tributaries traversing the locality are Tamontaka River and Rio Grande de Mindanao, acknowledged as the biggest waterway in Mindanao. (Sunnex)