No major security threats during Eid al-Fitr celebration in Manila this weekend -Erap

MANILA-- Manila Mayor Joseph Erap Estrada on Friday said he urged the city police to ramp up security measures ahead of the Eid al-Fitr festivities this weekend to ward off potential plans by militants to launch attacks on vital facilities in the capital city.

Estrada said he has been assured by the Manila Police District (MPD) that a sufficient number of police personnel would be deployed to secure the city, particularly on Sunday when Muslims hold an overnight prayer rally at Rizal Park.

We don't expect any major security threat in the city but to be sure, we will implement stringent security measures to maintain peace and order, the Manila mayor said.

Estrada said police must remain vigilant throughout the festivities by taking preventive measures and preparing for a quick response should terrorist cells and criminal organizations make any moves.

MalacaAang declared June 26, Monday, a regular holiday for Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Ramadan fasting month.

MPD director Chief Supt. Joel Coronel said a strong contingent of 2,400 policemen have been assigned to protect the city, as well as the prayer rally at Rizal Park that will begin on the evening of Sunday, June 25, up to the morning of Monday, June 26.

We're going to secure the prayer activity for our Muslim brothers who will be celebrating the end of Ramadan. We have assigned 2,400 policemen in this activity, to include area and perimeter security and traffic management, he said.

Coronel said the MPD has increased the monitoring of militant groups and had readied its units to counter potential terrorist threats, especially in key locations such as the Quiapo Muslim community, the Grand Mosque, and other places of worship.

On Wednesday, Estrada sought to calm down the public's anxiety over the leaked memorandum of the Valenzuela City police baring the supposed plan of Maute group to conduct bombings in Metro Manila, including Quiapo.

The likelihood of an imminent threat is very, very minimal here in the City of Manila, so there's nothing to worry about, the Manila mayor assured.

On Monday, a copy of the alleged memorandum from the Station Intelligence Branch (SIB) of the Valenzuela City Police Station revealing the purported plan of the Maute group to bomb several locations in Metro Manila were circulated in Facebook.

The one-page memorandum dated June 16, 2017 and with a subject line Plan (sic) Bombing in Metro Manila stated that Maute group led by Mambang Maute and Abu Hidaya Maute are planning to conduct bombing (sic) in Trinoma, Quezon City, SM Cubao, Quezon City Circle, certain places in Quiapo and Makati.

Signed by one Chief Insp. Jowilouie Bonaobra Bilaro, SIB chief, it directed the Police Community Precinct (PCP) commanders to please take appropriate action, initiate counter security measures to prevent government casualty and attacks from the enemy, particularly PNP stations/AFP units and vital installations in your respective AORs.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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