Davao City under ISIS threat, on alert for terror attacks

The military and police in Davao are on alert for terror attacks after Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte revealed that the city is under ISIS threat.

During a press conference on Thursday, the acting mayor said he has ordered the Task Force Davao, the Davao City Police Office (DCPO), and the Armed Forces of the Philippines Eastern Mindanao Command (AFP-EastMinCom) to beef up security and intensify intelligence gathering to prevent attacks by the international terrorist group.

Duterte said he received information about the whereabouts of the terrorists but refused to elaborate as validation is needed.

"We are intensifying the gathering of information. We cannot disclose details or confirm anything as of yet," he told reporters.

The acting mayor advised the public to remain calm and vigilant.

EastMinCom spokesperson Major Ezra Balagtey said the threat allegedly issued by ISIS has yet to be verified, but admitted that the city faces threats all the time as it is adjacent to Maguindanao, Sulu, and other known trouble spots in the region.

The spokesman said EastMinCom subordinates have been directed to intensify intelligence and monitoring considering that Davao is President Rodrigo Duterte's showcase.

The DPWH depot in Panacan dubbed as "PanacaƱang" or the "MalacaƱang of the South," which serves as the President's office in Davao, has been placed under the AFP's watch, he said.

"With or without the threat, we have intensified our anti-terrorism efforts in Davao City because the Kadayawan [Festival] draws near, and because of the frequent stay of President Duterte here," Balagtey added.

Meanwhile, the DCPO public information office assured the public that there is no cause for alarm.

"As of today, we still enjoy the peace and order in Davao City. Intelligence units have always been in place. The order was for us to intensify police visibility, and monitoring of insurgent groups," DCPO spokersperson Police Inspector Catherine Dela Rey said.

The DCPO sought the public's support by "reporting suspicious persons who have recently moved into communities."

Sources: ABS-CBN News, Inquirer.net