By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Southern Visayas has placed its sub-station in Hinoba-an town in Negros Occidental on heightened alert status after receiving intelligence reports of a terror threat in the town.
PCG-Southern Visayas district commander, Captain Eduardo De Luna, said he ordered the sub-station to be on the lookout, especially as the month of December also coincides with the anniversary of the New People’s Army (NPA).
However, De Luna said he has strong belief that the NPA will not carry out an attack against the sub-station as the PCG station in Hinoba-an is specifically concentrated more on humanitarian efforts.
Aside from the NPA, the recent incidents at sea involving the Abu Sayyaf Group are also being monitored by the PCG district.
Previously, bandits from the Abu Sayyaf group have clashed with Philippine Navy and PCG in two separate encounters at sea this month, which has led to the deaths of at least 10 bandits.
It is believed that the recent incidents at sea were either to transport bombers into Mindanao, or engage in kidnapping attempts.
With the recent reopening of tourist spots in southern Negros such as in Hinoba-an and Sipalay City, De Luna said they have further tightened maritime and coastal security in order to protect tourists from any kidnapping attempts.
They have also strengthened their coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office regarding the intelligence threat./DGB, WDJ