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Bicol on heightened alert after Jolo bomb blast

LEGAZPI CITY -- Security measures have been intensified in major seaports, airports and bus terminals across the Bicol peninsula as the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) placed the region on heightened alert in the aftermath of the bloody church bombing in Jolo last Sunday.

Legazpi Mayor Noel Rosal, RPOC chairman, said in an interview on Tuesday that the alert status is a precautionary measure to prevent lawless elements from sowing terror and disrupting the lives of the people in the provinces, town, and cities of the region.

Rosal described the bombing incident that killed at least 20 people and left scores injured as deplorable. “We would not like (a) similar incident to happen anywhere in Bicol,” he said.

The high alert status would also be a preemptive security measure to keep the upcoming mid-term national and local election campaign orderly and peaceful, the mayor said.

The police and military would dispatch additional personnel to man checkpoints in seaports, airports, bus terminals, road networks and other places where people converge, such as malls, and churches, he said.

“All luggages, cargoes brought in by passengers in ports, airport and bus terminals would be closely inspected for possible explosives and firearms,” Rosal said.

Meanwhile, Col. Paul Regencia, spokesman of the 9th Infantry Division (ID), said the Army is continuously on full alert, conducting security patrol in hinterland villages where New People’s Army (NPA) rebels are sighted. (PNA)

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