Aquino warns of terror threats, Davao on high alert

Karlos Manlupig
Aquino warns of terror threats, Davao on high alert
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte says President Aquino called him to say that unidentified groups might attack the cities of Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Koronadal, and Kidapawan

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Mayor Rodrigo Duterte raised the alert level in the city after no less than President Benigno Aquino III called him to warn about possible terror threats in at least 4 cities in Mindanao. 

“The President called [to tell] me to be vigilant,” Duterte said. “Coming from a President, that is serious.”

He said Aquino did not name the terror groups that posed threats, but identified as possible target areas the cities of Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Koronadal, and Kidapawan.  

Duterte said additional checkpoints will be put up in the city, while the police and the military will be mobilized to prevent possible attacks. 

The mayor appealed to the public to cooperate with the authorities, especially at checkpoints. 

Last Wednesday, Captain Jefferson Mamauag, spokesman of the military’s 1st Infantry Division, confirmed that government forces clashed with members of the Abu Sayyaf at the foot of Mt Basilan Peak in Sitio Gipitan, Barangay Kamamburingan, Ungkaya Puakan at around 5 am.

Military sources said Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon was shot in the stomach by a government sniper using a scoped M14 rifle. Government forces are conducting pursuit operations to flush out the rebels and to confirm whether Hapilon has died from his injury.

Hapilon is wanted by both the Philippines and the United States government and has a $5 million bounty on his head.

On June 10 this year, bomb expert Abdul Basit Usman, who is on the US government’s list of most wanted terrorists, escaped a military raid on his bomb factory in Maguindanao.

Two of his companions were killed, while 4 others, including his wife, were arrested.

Recovered in the factory were several explosives, materials and motorcycles that were being prepared to be rigged with improvised explosive devices.

In 2010, the US military reported that Usman was killed in a drone attack near Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.

The US government has raised a $1 million bounty on Usman’s head.

Davao City has been hit by several explosions in the past. The Davao Airport bombing on March 4, 2003, left at least 22 people dead and 143 wounded. The Sasa Wharf bombing on April 2, 2003, left about 17 people and 56 others injured.  

Last September 16, twin explosions rocked the cinemas at SM City Davao and Gaisano Mall. No one was reported to be seriously hurt in the blasts. A few moviegoers were brought to the hospital after complaining of pain in their ears caused by the loud explosion. – 


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