PNP is on nationwide heightened alert

PNP Chief Police Director General Oscar Albayalde inspects the blast site at the Jolo Cathedral in Sulu. (Photo from the Philippine National Police)

QUEZON CITY, Jan. 28 — PNP Chief, Director General Oscar D Albayalde has placed the entire PNP under nationwide Heightened Alert effective midnight of January 27, 2019 in the aftermath of the Jolo Cathedral explosion that left at least 20 churchgoers and security forces dead and 112 others wounded.

This developed as the Chief PNP flew to Jolo on Monday morning to oversee the ongoing post blast investigation and to personally extend the condolences of the national leadership to the orphaned families; and to attend to the needs of the wounded survivors now undergoing treatment for blast injuries at the Integrated Provincial Health Office-Sulu Provincial Hospital, Sulu Sanitarium and KHTB Station Hospital in Jolo, Sulu.

A message flashed by PNP Director for Operations, Police Director Mao Aplasca, to all PNP Regional Directors, said the alert condition aims to ensure that no similar plans of terrorist groups will be carried out in other regions.

Regional Directors were instructed to “initiate further security measures to preempt and prevent similar incidents to happen in your areas.”

“Based on our best practices in PRO 11 and PRO 12, mobilizing the community to help secure the communities is very effective coupled with a better harmonized and well coordinated efforts of the PNP, AFP and LGUs,” Aplasca said.

The Heightened Alert condition also called for intensified checkpoint operations and strict implementation of the election gun ban.

Regional Directors were given discretionary authority to raise alert conditions in their areas of responsibility as deemed necessary.

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