NCRPO, NAIA, ports on alert after MSU blast

Nillicent Bautista - The Philippine Star
NCRPO, NAIA, ports on alert after MSU blast
A K9 dog sweeps the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for possible explosives yesterday following the deadly Marawi bombing.
Rudy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) is on heightened alert after an explosive ripped through the Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, leaving four people dead and scores injured on Sunday.

NCRPO public information office chief Lt. Col. Eunice Salas said they have intensified security measures in Metro Manila following the bombing.

Salas said police visibility has been increased in schools, churches, transportation terminals and other places of convergence.

More checkpoints have also been established around Metro Manila.

Police personnel have been ordered to monitor and verify threats of group activities.

NCRPO director Maj. Gen. Jose Melencio Nartatez Jr. assured the public that security measures are in place.

“Metro Manila is secured around the clock. We will monitor not just churches but all places of convergence,” Nartatez said in an interview on dzBB.?

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has been placed on heightened security alert following the deadly explosion in Marawi City.

“Enhanced security will be implemented not only in airports, but also in other modes of transport in the aftermath of the Marawi explosion,” Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said.

Authorities are eyeing the involvement of the Dawlah Islamiyah-Maute terror group in the bombing.

The Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group deployed Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams and K9 units at the NAIA while the Special Operations Unit patrolled departure areas.

The Office for Transportation Security (OTS) also implemented heightened security protocols and advised the public to “remain vigilant and be aware of their surroundings.”

The MSU terror attack has also prompted Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) general manager Jay Santiago to place all seaports on red alert.

“As soon as we were apprised of the situation, I ordered the ports to be placed on heightened alert. We have been on red alert since Monday morning,” Santiago said.

He added they have coordinated with the Philippine Coast Guard to increase the number of roving bomb-sniffing dogs on deployment.

“There might be other movements that are coordinated with what happened in Marawi. We are never in a relaxed mode. Our security is more extensive,” the PPA chief said. — Rudy Santos, Evelyn Macairan

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