VISCOM ready for possible terror attack following Marawi bombing
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The Visayas Command (VISCOM) said in a statement that it is prepared to deal with any terror attack following the recent bombing in Marawi City, Mindanao that left 4 persons dead and at least 50 injured.
In a press release, VISCOM disclosed that government troops are keeping a tight watch on the Visayas region after the deadly bombing during a Catholic Mass at the gymnasium of the Mindanao State University (MSU).
It can be recalled that at past 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, December 3, 2023, an improvised explosive device suddenly exploded 15 minutes into the Mass which caused residents to panic.
The bombing was also timed on the First Sunday of Advert, a joyous occasion for Christians in preparation for the welcoming of the birth of Jesus Christ.
According to the agency, the heightened security and preparation was implemented while taking into consideration the possibility that the terror attack in Mindanao might escalate in the Visayas.
In addition to the fact that the Christmas season is fast approaching, authorities are monitoring any threats of terrorism in the region as discussed during a Focused Group Dialogue on the Contingency Plan against Urban Terrorism.
VISCOM said that the first-ever terror attack of the Abu Sayyaf group in the Visayas, specifically in Inabanga, Bohol was recorded in April of 2017. The attack resulted to the killing of ten individuals including civilians and government forces.
After the terror attack in Marawi, authorities have placed a contingency plan to prevent any possible disturbances by terrorists in Visayas.
“In coordination with our PNP counterparts, we have placed a contingency plan in the event of an urban terrorist attack that will transpire in any urban areas in the Visayas,” stated Lieutenant General Benedict Arevalo PA, VISCOM Commander.
“We aim to sustain a heightened security landscape in the region to ensure the safety of the public and to prevent the violent extremists from wreaking havoc in our communities,” he added.
Aside from tight monitoring, VISCOM also organized Quick Reaction Forces that can be readily deployed to assist the Philippine National Police (PNP) in repelling any armed groups.
According to Arevalo, these forces and their troops will jointly be conducting continuous and focused military operations along the outskirt areas in Visayas to stall any terror attack.
Arevalo also assured the public that they are committed to ensuring that peace and order in the region remain undisturbed.
“We have planned and prepared contingency in case of terror attack in the region. Rest assured that your Visayas Command will always remain steadfast in our commitment of ensuring the safety and security of our people in this part of the country,” stated Arevalo.
As of this writing, police have identified and are pursuing the two alleged suspects to the terror attack identified as Kadapi Mimbesa and Arsani Membisa.
According to a report from the INQUIRER, the two men are believed to be members of the Daulah Islamiyah-Maute Group, a local affiliate of the terrorist network Islamic State (IS).
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