High terror threat warning raised in 19 areas
Roel Pareño (Philstar.com) - December 14, 2015 - 1:19am

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - Several places including areas with heavy tourist presence in the country were placed under terrorism threat level 3 or high terrorism threat category.

The assessment was based on the security committee meeting last November 26 released by the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency to areas with high security concern.

Zamboanga City Police director, Senior Superintendent Angelito Casimiro, said in a press briefing on Monday that the high terrorism threat level was due to the persistent reports of the Abu Sayyaf Group and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters' plan to attack and engage in kidnap-for-ransom activities.

Casimiro said the areas placed under level 3 were the following: 

  • Palawan
  • Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan
  • Zamboanga City
  • Dipolog, Zamboanga del Norte
  • Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte 
  • Zamboanga Sibugay
  • Cotabato City
  • Palembang, Sultan Kudarat
  • Isulan, Sultan Kudarat
  • Lebak, Sultan Kudarat
  • Kidapawan City
  • Kabakan, North Cotabato 
  • Midsayap, North Cotabato
  • Aleosan, North Cotabato
  • Maguindanao
  • Basilan
  • Sulu
  • Tawi-Tawi
  • Marawi

The report placed Metro Manila under level 2 or moderate terrorism threat level, noting  the convergence of people in the metropolis during the Christmas season. Casimiro said the other areas under level 2 are Pagadian; Pitogo in Zamboanga del Sur; Lanao del Norte; the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan; Davao City and Samal Island. 

The towns of Kalamansig, Esperanza, Pres. Quirino, Tacurong City, all in Sultan Kudarat; towns of Alamada and Mlang in North Cotabato; the towns of Maasin, Kiamba and Maitum in Sarangani; General Santos City and the rest of Lanao del Sur were also assessed under moderate terrorist threat.

In Zamboanga City, Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said the security confidence in the city got a boost with the opening of the KCC Mall, the biggest in Mindanao.

Mayor Cherrylyn Santos-Akbar of Isabela City said her place benefited also from the positive impact of the growing investment.

“Gone are the negative image perception projected in our place,” Akbar said.

ABU SAYYAF GROUP AND THE BANGSAMORO ISLAMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS ALAMADA AND MLANG BORACAY ISLAND CASIMIRO CITY COTABATO CITY DAVAO CITY AND SAMAL ISLAND NORTE NORTH COTABATO SULTAN KUDARAT ZAMBOANGA
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