NoCot heightens security due to bomb threats

Insp. Joyce Birrey, North Cotabato PNP public information officer, confirmed that their office has received several bomb threats. This prompted the PNP in North Cotabato to alert all policemen in the 17 towns of the province to preempt any terrorist attacks.

Birrey said PNP intelligence operatives in plain clothes were deployed in populated areas such as schools, public markets and bus terminals all over the province to ensure safety of the constituents.

PNP personnel have been positioned in various establishments and shopping centers to give security to the public, he added.

Army personnel that compose the Task Force North Cotabato were also fielded along the Makilala-Kidapawan highway to check the vehicles entering these areas.

Birrey said choke points were also set up in the highways to ensure safety of the riding public and the vehicles traversing the various towns of North Cotabato.

“Our province is secure. But still we will take extra precautions in order to prevent bombing incidents in our area,” he said.

The North Cotabato police force appealed to everyone to be vigilant and be prompt in reporting any suspicious looking individuals and unattended packages in the nearer police outpost for immediate actions.

“We urge our people in North Cotabato to help in monitoring the peace and order situation in their respective areas,” Birrey appealed.

The United States embassy on Monday warned US citizens to exercise extreme caution in visiting Central Mindanao because terrorists may be planning to bomb the public terminal and the public market in North Cotabato.

The attack, the embassy said, may take place in Kidapawan City and in the town of Makilala over the next several days.

Kidapawan and Makilala have been attacked in the past, claiming the lives of innocent individuals.

Seven people were killed and more than 30 were wounded when powerful explosions rocked Kidapawan City, Tacurong City and General Santos City in early January.

October last year eight were killed and more than twenty were wounded when an IED exploded in front of the town hall.

Authorities blamed the previous bombing incidents in Southern Philippines to the Muslim guerillas allegedly with linked to the Indonesia based Jemaah Islamiyah.