Beware: Terrorists are on the loose
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - January 7, 2019 - 12:00am

The number one threat today, aside from natural calamities, which we cannot prevent, is the looming upsurge of terroristic activities perpetrated by the global terrorists Jemaah Islamiya and our internal rebels led by the CPP-NPA-NDF under the command of Netherlands-based Jose Maria Sison and Fr. Luis Jalandoni.

The latest bombing in Cotabato City was a purveyor of things to come. The Province and City of Cebu should be very careful, especially during the Sinulog celebration. The order from the world terrorism capital in the Middle East and in Europe is to hit high-value targets with possible maximum number of casualties and substantial damage to property.

The giant malls in the city and in the suburbs cannot guarantee the safety of its customers. The private security forces are not competent enough to secure lives and properties. They have no training on detection of terrorists, and they do not have the latest gadgets to identify possible bombers and assassins.

It is better for families to stay away from crowded places, like supermarkets, department stores, big restaurants, and food centers. Even moviehouses, theaters, coliseums, and other entertainment venues are potential targets for bombings. Big universities and colleges, as well as churches and other houses of worship can be hit too. The terrorists have no respect for religion or for religious activities.

The Sinulog has been reported to be a target of a series of bombings, and our police forces should be very alert and must take full responsibility in making sure that none of those who shall mingle with the crowds have bombs in their possession. Every visitor is a potential bomber and so our police forces must improve their intelligence operations so as to make sure that none of the Sinulog activities can be infiltrated by terrorists.

The overall responsibility to secure all visitors and local residents fall not just on the police forces but also on civilian authorities. The governor, vice governor, city mayor, and vice mayor should put aside all partisan politics and focus on the security, safety, and well-being of all.

The threats also target airports, seaports, and all parking places and bus terminals. The terrorist would love to cause the deaths of foreigners, including tourists, visiting officials, diplomats, and embassy personnel.

The death of any foreigner would embarrass the government, and that is a maximum goal for these terrorist groups. And so, Filipinos would be properly and adequately forewarned if they stay away from tourism-oriented establishments, like five-star hotels, casinos, resorts and expensive bars, spas, and similar establishments.

These are difficult and perilous times. It is better to be overly careful than be exceedingly sorry. The smiling guy sitting beside you may have a bomb in his body. The girl opposite you in the bar may be a Jemaah Islamiya opertive who is on a suicide mission. Be very wary and keep yourself always safe.

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