Red Alert in Zamboanga del Sur

Police, military in Zambo Sur placed on ‘triple red alert’ status

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur, Dec. 27 (PNA) — Police and military forces in this province have been placed on “triple red alert” to be able to swiftly respond to atrocities from lawless and terrorist groups, officials disclosed.

Senior Supt. Sofronio Ecaldre, provincial police director, on Tuesday disclosed they raised the alert status based on the recommendation of the National Security Council following intelligence report of possible attacks and bombings by terrorist groups.

On Christmas eve, 16 people, including a policeman, were injured in a grenade explosion in front of a Catholic church while churchgoers were receiving holy communion in Midsayap, North Cotabato.

However, authorities said the grenade, which was lobbed towards a police car, was the handiwork of a drug syndicate affected by the anti-drug campaign in North Cotabato.

Ecaldre said it was agreed during the Provincial Peace and Order Council meeting that police and soldiers’ visibility will be increase in public places like public markets, plazas, bus terminals, malls, and churches especially on New Year’s eve.

He said the city and municipal police stations would take charge of security in their respective areas while the Provincial Public Safety Company, together with the Army’s 53rd Infantry Battalion, are designated to conduct mobile checkpoints along the national highways.

Supt. Michael Palermo, city police chief, has advised the public to refrain from carrying backpacks while going to public plazas and malls.

Police authorities also advised the public to refrain from igniting firecrackers in welcoming the new year. (PNA)

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