Albayalde: Terrorists seeking refuge in at least 5 Metro Manila areas

Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 08 2018 12:11 AM

MANILA - National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Oscar Albayalde on Wednesday said there are at least five areas in Metro Manila where the terrorists are seeking refuge. 

Albayalde said some areas in Metro Manila and nearby provinces have become safe havens for terror suspects.

"We monitor iyung mga posibleng pagtataguan nila. Hindi naman natin minamasama itong mga kapatid nating Muslims, since sila ay nanggagaling sa Mindanao. It is apparent na doon sila sa mga Muslim enclaves nagtatago, nagsi-seek ng shelter, nagsi-seek ng refuge," Albayalde said.

Albayalde said they are keeping a close eye on at least five communities in Metro Manila following the arrest of alleged ISIS leader Fehmi Lassqued, an Egyptian national in Ermita, Manila and Maute sub leader Abdul Nasser Lomondot in Recto, Manila.

"Alam naman natin ang mga Muslim enclaves na pwedeng pagtaguan ng mga threat groups dito sa NCR. Malalaking Muslim areas like Quiapo, number 1. Sa Taguig, napakalaki," Albayalde said. 

"Actually, the Muslim enclaves here are more than 70 sa Metro Manila pero hindi naman natin sinasabi na lahat pinagtataguan. Ang malalaki dito sa Quezon City, sa Culiat," Albayalde added.

Albayalde said they are closely monitoring reports of the alleged recruitment of the Maute and other Islamic State-linked groups in Metro Manila especially in depressed areas.

"Even in Quiapo, even in Maharlika, may mga depressed areas diyan, nandoon ang mga kapatid nating Muslim na walang trabaho, umalis sa kanilang lugar because of military operations, na-displace sila doon kaya pumunta rito. Lalo yung mga naging biktima ang mga relative niya o father niya, yon ang mga posible," Albayalde said.

Albayalde said the Muslim leaders in the said areas have vowed to help the police.

"Ang usual na ginagawa natin diyan ay of course we have the support of Muslim leaders sa area, even sa Quiapo napakaganda ng suporta na ibinibigay nila sa atin at nagbigay pa sila ng pahayag na talagang hindi sila sasapi sa kahit kaninong threat groups at nangako din sila na anything na they will notice out of the ordinary don sa lugar nila ay they report to us," Albayalde said.

He said they have not received any specific terror threats this Lenten season.

"Hindi tayo nagbaba ng full alert status dito sa Metro Manila lang, we never downgraded our alert status unlike sa ibang region kasi we all know that Metro Manila is the seat of government. Ayaw natin na may mangyari na kahit anong insidente of terrorism dito sa Metro Manila," Albayalde said.

NCRPO will be fielding over 5,000 policemen to enhance security during the Holy Week.