Palawan security services warn of imminent Abu Sayyaf kidnap threat

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Palawan
Military intelligence suggests that a cell of the Abu Sayyaf terror group may already be on the way to Palawan on a kidnapping mission.

Security services in Palawan are on high alert after receiving a “credible kidnapping threat” related to the Abu Sayyaf terror group.

Provincial Peace and Order Council member Teodoro Jose Matta said today (Saturday, August 11) that Palawan has heightened its security alert in “all areas since the start of the rainy season” due to credible military intelligence about the Sulu-based terror cell.

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He told The Palawan News that the Islamic State-affiliated militants could already be on their way to Palawan.

“Wherever you go, there is threat,” he said. “It’s not only in the province that this is happening. Like other places in the country, our province is also threatened by remnants of this extremist group. 

“Only this time, we believe the threat is credible enough so we alerted all our mayors and tourism operators, including barangay officials to be careful, be aware of their surroundings, and be vigilant.” 

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He added that anybody noticing any suspicious individuals or activity should contact the military’s Western Command, the coast guard or police.

He also stressed that responsibility for safety and security was not only a concern of these bodies, but also the wider community.

He said: “Governor Jose Alvarez and I agree that the best weapon against terrorism threat is public awareness and vigilance to protect communities as a whole. 

“What business we may lose in making this public is better than them being able to really come in and do something more serious.”

This is not the first kidnapping warning issued for Palawan. In May last year, we reported how the US Embassy in Manila issued an alert, warning that the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park was an area of particular concern.

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