Magalong, the incoming Regional Peace and Order Council chairman, said both the military and the police have put in place necessary measures to counter any terrorist threat.
“We conferred with the military and PNP commanders...and we discussed the threat and there is no doubt that the memo is authentic but still subject for validation," he said on the sidelines of the 3rd quarter meeting of the Regional Development Council- RPOC, referring to the "leaked" memorandum from an intelligence officer of the Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom).
Based on the supposed memo dated August 2, all military units are directed to heighten intelligence monitoring and issue a red alert status on August 11-12, as the alleged ISIS-led attack might be launched on business centers and churches in Laoag City, Vigan City, Manaog Pangasinan, and Tuguegarao City.
While Baguio and the Cordillera were not mentioned, Magalong stressed the need for residents of Baguio, being the seat of power in the region, to stay calm and continue with their daily lives.
He also called on the public to be vigilant and report the presence of suspicious individuals in their communities to the nearest police station or to the military.
"Measures are already being undertaken to make sure that we are hardening our targets, making it difficult for the terrorists to launch an attack or its plans,” Magalong added.
In a separate interview, NolCom Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Arwel Oropesa the report should have been classified and only for the consumption of the military and police, which is subject for confirmation but urged the public to be cautious and report anything unusual and suspicious.
“The report should not cause alarm,” he said.
In terms of the peace and order situation in the Cordillera, Oroposa said the region’s situation is manageable, compared to other regions.
“What we just need in the Cordillera is to participate and cooperate in the maintenance of peace and order,” he said.
He also said the terror threat from the New People's Army is always there but the AFP is addressing the situation.
Meanwhile, Police Regional Office Cordillera Deputy Director for Operations Col. Madeline Bazar assured the public of the regional police's readiness to act against terror threats in Baguio City and the whole region. (PNA)
By Liza Agoot