Capitol asks public: Monitor with caution

By Izobelle T. Pulgo April 25,2017
Muslim traders whose vehicle got flagged down by Oslob police on suspicion that they were allegedly involved with Abu Sayyaf bandits were released afterwards.  CDN File Photo

Muslim traders whose vehicle got flagged down by Oslob police on suspicion that they were allegedly involved with Abu Sayyaf bandits were released afterwards.
CDN File Photo

Muslim residents asked to be patient, cooperate with security measures

Cebu officials called on the public to exercise caution in monitoring the presence of suspicious-looking characters in light of the recent clashes between government troops and Abu Sayyaf bandits in two towns in Bohol province.

Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale said her attention had been called by people she personally knew, especially Muslims, on the stringent security measures imposed in hotels, resorts and other commercial establishments.

Magpale said they have been understanding about the situation in light of what happened in Bohol and she asked them to be patient and comply with the security requirements.

“It cannot be helped that they cover their faces because it’s also their culture and we have to respect that, but they also understand. They have to understand the fear instilled in the public because of the incidents in Bohol,” she said.

The vice governor told the Muslim residents “not to mind” the stringent security measures and asked for their continued understanding.

Last April 17, a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team responded to a call from a hotel staff in Cebu City who reported to police about the presence of 10 persons who spoke in a different language.

It was later found out that they were government officials from Basilan who were in Cebu City for an official meeting.

A few days later, six men were held for questioning in Oslob town, southern Cebu but were released by police after it was learned that they were vendors who sell underwear and other goods during fiestas.

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III said while the public is right in being watchful and vigilant, they should not overdo it lest it causes them to be paranoid.

“We called on the public to be wary of suspicious-looking persons so it is only right that they are cautious. However, we should also not overdo it to the point that it would border on paranoia,” he said.

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