MANILA - The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has activated mobile checkpoints across Metro Manila after a bomb defused near the US Embassy on Monday was linked to the Maute terrorist group.
"Inactivate po natin ang ating mobile checkpoints o Oplan Sita sa buong Metro Manila area... Random po iyan, siguro gagawin natin iyan 24/7, hindi lang po siguro oras-oras, lalo na ngayong papalapit na ang kapulisan," NCRPO chief Oscar Albayalde told radio DZMM.
Police closed off a section of Roxas Boulevard in Manila after a suspected bomb was found inside a trash can near the US Embassy on Monday.
The Philippine National Police said the bomb was similar to the improvised explosive device (IED) that left 15 people dead at a night market in Davao City in September, an attack allegedly masterminded by the Maute terrorist group.
PNP chief Director General Ronald ''Bato'' dela Rosa said Monday's foiled bombing may ba a "diversionary tactic" of Maute fighters who are now battling state forces in their stronghold in Butig, Lanao Del Sur.
[battling state forces -- https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/11/28/16/watch-military-pounds-maute-positions-as-thousands-flee-homes ]]
Maute members may have hired a bomb expert to make the IED found on Roxas Boulevard, Albayalde said.
"Mayroon po kasing tinatawag na marunong ding gumawa na nagsi-sympathize sa kanila, not necessarily member nila. Mayroon po kasing 'bomb for hire' na binabayaran," he explained.
Intelligence units, he added, have monitored movement among the terrorists but "there is no actual information yet that they are here in Metro Manila."
He urged the public to cooperate with security checks and report any suspicious activity.