TWO foreign nationals have been cleared after they were brought to Police Regional Office (PRO)-Northern Mindanao in Barangay Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City for questioning on Wednesday night, May 24.
Police Chief Inspector Ariel Phillip Pontillas, chief of Cagayan de Oro Police Office Intelligence Unit (CIU), said they responded to a report in Talakag town, Bukidnon, of the presence of a supposedly Indonesian man whom residents found suspicious.
Pontillas said they verified the information and later found out that the person was not Indonesian, but Chinese identified as Lin Yue Ting.
"Gikan daw siya sa (He came from) Manila then niadto ug (went) Talakag for business," he said.
He said Lin was then brought to Camp Alagar for questioning.
Also, Chief Inspector Mardy Hortillosa, Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) spokesperson said another foreign national was also brought to Camp Alagar on Wednesday night, May 24, for questioning.
Hortillosa said he was not privy to the nationality of the foreigner as he was immediately brought to Camp Alagar after he was held in a checkpoint in Barangay Lumbia.
Police Superintendent Lemuel Gonda, PRO-Northern Mindanao spokesperson, said both foreign nationals were released on the same night after both their identities were verified with their respective embassies.
Gonda said this is part of their heightened security measures to prevent spillover of the skirmishes in Marawi City.
READ: Oro under full alert after Marawi City clash
The public is earlier advised to report suspicious persons, events, or activities to police hotlines and stations.
Hortillosa for his part said there are no other recorded arrests in checkpoints manned by Cocpo personnel so far.
"Okay man atong pag-implement sa security measures sa Cagayan, double time gyud mi (The implementation of security measures are okay). In terms of checkpoints, wala patay nadakop, ug naquestion sa atong (we haven’t arrested and questioned yet in the) headquarters," he said.
"So far, in terms of the martial law declaration, we still haven't really implemented it because we are still waiting for the rules and regulations. So now, we are still focused on the heightened implementation of security measures here," he said.
Donations, meanwhile, are pouring in for the thousands of displaced families from Marawi City now seeking refuge in Iligan City.
Xavier University said they are accepting Halal Food, hygiene kits, and cash assistance for the displaced individuals while the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, which earlier opened its doors to student evacuees, are also accepting donations and are cooking the donated foods for their evacuees.
Adzhar Madjid, chairman of the Muslim Youth Council-Cagayan de Oro called on to stop the fighting especially with the Ramadhan, or the month of fasting, nears.
"This night (May 25) is the schedule for moon-sighting, once sighted, Muslims will be feasting by May 26, if it moon is not sighted, 27 is the first day to fast," Madjid said.
"We still continue to pray that after all these tragic incidents, the Muslim-Filipinos, especially those in most difficult situations, may able to welcome Ramadhan with peace of mind and joyous heart," he added.