Eastmincom heightens alert to counter diversionary operation of ASG bandits

DAVAO CITY�Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) placed its whole forces under heightened alert since Thursday in the aftermath of the encounter between government troopers and Abu Sayyaf members in Inabanga, Bohol on Tuesday.

Major Ezra Balagtey, chief of public information officer of Eastmincom told reporters here that the heightened alert level would cover the whole duration of the observance of Holy Week.

The move is also aimed to counter any diversionary operations that the terror group might undertake after suffering heavily during the Bohol encounter.

The alert level was raised to prevent the ASG to conduct 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 to take advantage of the situation and conduct atrocities while communities are busy in celebrating the 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 troopers against the Abu Sayyaf in Bohol, Balagtey said.

Two aircraft and other 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 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 infrastructures are the main concern of Eastmincom in Mindanao, he added.

Source: Philippines News Agency