The police and military have stepped up security measures in Palawan after yesterday’s US Embassy travel advisory warning of a possible kidnap plot.
A statement issued by police today (Wednesday, May 10) said: “We are in close coordination with other Intelligence Group especially with the Western Command based in Palawan is continuously conducting intensified intel gathering information and operations to enhance the security posture of the region on any possible terrorist attack.”
The statement further clarified this would involve “more stringent” mobile checkpoints, choke points operations and increased police visibility across the region.
The embassy advisory had said: “Terrorist groups may be planning to conduct kidnapping operations targeting foreign nationals in the areas of Palawan Province, Philippines, to include Puerto Princesa City, and the areas surrounding Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park.”
Despite the specific nature of the warning — which has also been relayed by the UK and Canadian embassies — the military and police say they have not received any corresponding intelligence.
National police spokesman Dionardo Carlos said: “Stricter security measures will be undertaken while we are verifying the said information.
“All information, we don’t take it for granted. When we see validity – the source and reliability of the information – we validate through an intelligence fusion meeting with other intel units.”
Early last month, the embassy also issued another warning due to “unsubstantiated yet credible information that terrorist groups may attempt to conduct kidnappings in Central Visayas, which includes both Cebu and Bohol provinces.”
Just two days later, a group of Abu Sayyaf terrorists landed on the island of Bohol, apparently set on raiding a tourist resort on Easter Sunday.
Thanks to a tip off from the public — and improved security in the wake of the embassy warning — the raid was foiled.