THE Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) remains on alert for possible terrorist threats after receiving a memo from the Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) of a possible attack within its area of responsibility.
However, the BCPO reminded the public to refrain from panicking and advised them to be careful and watch out for any signs of threat of possible attacks, and immediately alert police authorities on suspicious individuals in their communities.
Based on the memo coming from Nolcom having reference to a basic intelligence leak and the corresponding command guidance, it contained information received on August 2, of “Crusader City” with business centers and “Crusader Churches” in Northern Luzon being targeted for terror attacks.
Police Colonel Allen Rae Co, BCPO acting city director, said they are in close coordination with city officials and other counterpart including Nolcom, for the Police Regional Office to be ready in dealing with terror threats that will endanger the residents.
“We consider this information as important and we have our contingency plans in place to deal with these kinds of threats and other threats. Our police force in the city is always ready and vigilant to deal with this, but our primordial goal here is to stop or prevent any kinds of attacks or incidents before it occurs,” Co said.
“Although Baguio City was not included in the possible target areas of this terrorist threat, being a highly urbanized city, we will always remain to be possible target. Our police force continuous to be on alert 24-7 to respond to these kinds of threats which is why we continue to intensify our intelligence information gathering system to identify and apprehend possible suspects planning to do such things,” Co stated.
Crusader cities is the term used by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) in describing target areas to fuel what it calls “Bander Crusade” or war between Muslims and Christians while “Crusade Churches” is the generic term for all historic Catholic Churches.
“We do not dismiss outright any report of this nature because any threat that we receive, we treat it with its due importance and we validate and we coordinate with all our counterpart agencies or non-government agencies for us to prepare accordingly. We advise the public to remain calm and enjoin them to be equally vigilant in immediately informing the nearest station of the BCPO of suspicious individuals in their respective communities, for the BCPO to do the necessary action against these individuals and prevent them from pushing through with their possible terrorist plans,” Co added.
The alert memo indicated, but was not limited to the areas of Laoag City, Vigan City, Manaog Pangasinan, and Tuguegarao City as the possible target of the terror threats.
The memo also gave instruction to all its units to conduct a heightened intelligence monitoring, the issuance of a red alert status particularly on August 11 to 12 of this year, and declaring the said areas identified as high priority targets of the said directive.