The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, in tandem with the Philippine Navy and Army infantry units in southern Negros, have started to further tighten security in prime tourist destinations, especially in Sipalay City and neighboring areas.
Lt. Col. Roderick Garcia, 79th Infantry Battalion in southern Negros, reported earlier that documents gathered from the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group showed that it has been gathering physical information about resorts and their locations in Negros Oriental, including pictures of sea crafts used by the tourists, which are essential in their kidnapping operations.
Senior Supt. William Señoron, provincial police director of Negros Occidental, confirmed yesterday the deployment of Philippine Navy personnel in Sipalay City.
The city of Sipalay is known for its white-sand beach resorts and famous diving sites, and many of the resorts are also owned by foreigners.
Various state security agencies, including the branches of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine National Police are scheduled to meet next week to discuss security measures, and ensure smooth coordination, in case of any emergency situation that may arise.
Señoron said they will also invite beach resorts owners, whom he urged to be vigilant, to discuss security concerns.
“We are not taking chances,” Señoron, who attended the declaration of 10 drug-cleared barangays yesterday in Sipalay City, said.
There have been reports that the six ASG members sighted in Cebu returned to Dapitan in Mindanao via Negros Oriental.
Philippine Navy assets and personnel are now stationed at a port in Sipalay City.
Garcia disclosed during the recent Peace and Order Councilmeeting in Negros Oriental that the ASG terrorists are mobile and that they strike whenever there is an opportunity.
At present, there are tourist police deployed in prime-tourist destination resorts in Sipalay, who are also complimented by Regional Public Safety Battalion 18 troopers.
The 79IB troopers have also been deployed in southern Negros, following the pull out of the 47th Infantry Battalion.*GPB
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