DAVAO CITY, April 14, 2017 (PNA) — The Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) has placed its whole forces under heightened alert since Thursday in the aftermath of the encounter between government troops and Abu Sayyaf members in Inabanga, Bohol on Tuesday.
Eastmincom chief of public information officer Major Ezra Balagtey told reporters here that the heightened alert level will cover the whole duration of Holy Week.
The move is also aimed at countering any diversionary operation that the terrorist group might undertake after suffering heavily during the Bohol encounter.
“The alert level was raised to prevent the ASG from conducting any diversionary act within the command’s area of operations,” Balagtey said.
Aside from the Abu Sayyaf, the communists New People’s Army are also threatening communities in Mindanao, he added.
“We will also prevent the NPA from taking advantage of the situation and conducting atrocities while communities are busy celebrating Holy Week,” he said.
The Tactical Operations Group 10 of the Philippine Air Force based in Cagayan de Oro City, which is under the command of Eastmincom, had provided support to the operations of the government troops against the Abu Sayyaf in Bohol, Balagtey said.
Two aircraft and additional personnel were dispatched to Inabanga, Bohol and are presently providing additional capability to the government forces pursuing the remnants of terrorists in the area, he added.
“The naval forces of Eastmincom in Mindanao were likewise dispatched with some of its personnel and equipment to provide the additional naval capability to the central command of the armed forces last April 12 as the conduct of pursuit operations continue,” he said.
Troops of Eastmincom on the ground are also coordinating with various local government units and the Philippine National Police (PNP) during the implementation of the heightened alert.
“Proper coordination with LGUs and other law enforcement agencies will allow Eastmincom units to establish mechanisms within their respective areas of jurisdiction to strengthen security measures,” Balagtey said.
Securing communities, installations, and infrastructure are the main concern of Eastmincom in Mindanao, he added. (PNA)