LOCAL authorities advised the public to exercise vigilance following the deaths of top leaders of terrorist groups Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute who led the attack in Marawi City, citing "sympathetic attacks" by other local terrorist groups.

"It (the deaths) would surely dissipate the threat of IS in Mindanao but the people shall remain vigilant in case there will be extremist group/s who will launch ‘sympathetic attacks,’” Police Regional Office (PRO 11) regional director Police Chief Superintendent Manuel Gaerlan told SunStar Davao.

On Monday, October 16, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) confirmed that government troops killed the leaders of the Abu Sayaff Group Hapilon and Maute Group who have been sowing terror in Marawi City since May 23.

In a separate interview, Davao City Police Office (DCPO) spokesperson Police Senior Superintendent Ma. Teresita Gaspan lauded the successful operation of the AFP troopers.

"We commend the success of the AFP and other operating units for the neutralization of the Isis-inspired leaders. It also gives justice to the soldiers, the police and other civilians who lost their lives because of this group's misadventure," Gaspan said.

"We hope that this may serve as warning that similar fate will fall upon to anyone who will attempt to destroy our peace or bring chaos and disorder especially in Mindanao," she noted.

She added that there will be no let-up in their efforts and will continue to strengthen their security measures by providing maximum security in all places of convergence in close coordination with their AFP counterpart particularly in intelligence monitoring to prevent the entry of terrorist groups.

"We do not discount the possibility of retaliation, spillover or any diversionary tactics," she said.