BAGUIO City Police Office acting city director S/Supt Ramil Saculles said local police forces are being strengthened in reaction to incidents in the Benguet province, Thursday.

Saculles said all police stations in the city have set up check points and are on a constant police patrol to deter crimes.

“May nangyari sa area ng Benguet so fluid ang situation nila because of clearing operations so we have to strengthen our police visibility as precautionary to our area,” Saculles said.

The police chief said police stations in Quirino Highway, Camdas, Pacdal Circle, PEZA, Loakan, Legarda, Marcos Highway, Aurora Hill, Baguio City, Central Business District, Camp 7, Kennon Road, Irisan, Green Valley, Marcos Highway will be conducting routine checks on vehicles.

On Thursday, two of Philex Mining Corporation were set on fire, by suspected rebel groups in the province.

The Philex drivers were confronted by a group carrying banners with high powered firearms, who directed them to get down from the vehicles after which the group proceeded to torch the two Volvo company trucks.

The trucks were at Sitio Tapak area in Barangay in Ampucao, Itogon when the incident happened.

On the same day, an Isuzu DMAX (ZRH 321) and Innova Blue (VJ 3573) were flagged down at a police check point and matched descriptions relayed by witnesses during the burning; the three individuals were taken into custody with identities withheld as of press time.

As of press time there is no information on the whereabouts of the three suspects with police and the Philippine army both denying the trio is in their custody.

Baguio City mayor Mauricio Domogan and current Regional Peace and Order Council chairman meanwhile clarified the city is not on red alert status.

“While our neighboring municipality is on heightened alert due to the hot pursuit being done by the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Army against those who caused the burning of two trucks of Philex Mines at Camp 4, Tuba, Benguet yesterday morning, Baguio city remains peaceful and on Preemptive alert,” Domogan said.

“Do not get worried or alarmed with the 300 Police trainees scattered within the city, they are trainees who will stay with us in the City for 6 months,” the mayor added.

Domogan added circulating messages through text and social media did not come from authorities but may serve as precautions adding residents and tourists should not panic but rather be vigilant.

The mayor is in Ifugao to preside over the RPOC meeting with Police Regional Office – Cordillera regional director Chief Superintendent Elmo Sarona, Department of the Interior and Local Government regional director Marlo Iringan, other local chief executives and other members of RPOC-CAR.

“We assure each and everyone the region is under control and peace and order is in state,” Domogan added.