Metro Manila cops tighten security amid rumored ISIS test runs


Posted at May 10 2017 09:40 AM

MANILA - The Metro Manila police on Wednesday said it has tightened security measures in the region following a series of bombings in the capital, which a security analyst deemed as possible test runs by the Islamic State terror group.

"Pinaigting na po natin ang ating visibility, ang ating checkpoints saka po ang Oplan Sita natin, lalong-lalo na po sa sinasabi nilang critical areas, gaya ng Quiapo area at iyun pong matataong lugar o places of convergence natin," Director Oscar Albayalde, head of the National Capital Police Regional Office, told radio DZMM.

(We have strengthened police visibility and checkpoints, as well as our Oplan Sita, especially in critical areas like Quiapo and crowded areas or places of convergence.)

At least 14 people were injured last April 28 after a bomb went off in the crowded Quiapo district, just a few kilometers away from a summit of Southeast Asian leaders.

On Saturday, 2 persons were killed in the twin bombings at an office in Quiapo.

Dr. Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, warned the blasts could be tests for wider attacks during Ramadan.

Albayalde however said the explosions cannot be considered acts of terror.

The April 28 explosion, he said, was an act of revenge on a perya stall owner who mauled a 14-year-old boy while Saturday's twin blasts were apparently intended for a Muslim cleric.

"Wala po tayong dapat ikabahala... Ginagawa po natin lahat para maiwasan ang ganyang karahasan, ngunit kailangan po natin ang kooperasyon ng ating mga kababayan," Albayalde added.

(We have nothing to worry about. We are doing everything to prevent similar acts of violence, but we need the public's cooperation.)

Any suspicious individuals or objects may be reported via emergency hotline 911.