BAGUIO City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, who also chairs the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC), said he will let the military and police forces decide on whether or not to conduct profiling of Muslim residents in the city.
In the third quarter meeting of the RPOC, Magalong said he recently had a high level meeting with all government security forces in the city and region to discuss possible terrorist threats.
“I will leave this to Armed Forces and Philippine National Police because they have a way of doing it. But as the chief executive in the city, I am aware on how many are the number of Muslim communities in Baguio and I am closely in touch with the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos who provides me with this information. And I do not want to be discriminating. That’s why I will leave it to the AFP and PNP,” Magalong said.
The RPOC chairman made the statement in the wake of memo from Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom) alerting to possible terrorist acts in the area.
Nolcom said it received on Friday, August 2, intelligence information about "Crusader City" with business centers and "Crusader Churches" in Northern Luzon targeted for terror attacks.
Magalong stressed the need for the residents of Baguio City to remain calm and to continue with their day-to-day activities.
However, he encouraged the people to be vigilant and to report suspicious individuals in their communities to the nearest police station.
“We are pursuing a plan of action and there is sharing of information among all the security sectors to make sure that we are well informed of the recent developments. And at the same time, our plan of action is continuous. Measures are already being undertaken to make sure that we are hardening our targets, making it difficult for the terrorists to launch an attack or its plans,” Magalong added.
The alert memo indicated Laoag City, Vigan City, Manaog Pangasinan, and Tuguegarao City as the possible target areas of the terror threats.
It instructed all units to heighten intelligence monitoring, issue a red alert status, particularly on August 11 and 12, and declare the said areas identified as high priority targets of the directive. (Jonathan Llanes)