BAGUIO CITY – Believing in the dictum that “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”, City Police Dir. Ramil Saculles met with representatives from various agencies and faith-based organizations Wednesday at the Baguio City Police Office multi-purpose hall to ask their cooperation in preventing acts of terrorism, extremism or radicalism that may occur in the city.
He is requesting the local offices of the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation for a list of foreign visitors to the city, Commission on Higher Education for a list of foreign students studying here and the Securities and Exchange Commission for a list of registered foreign/Muslim organizations, schools or establishments in the city and the local permits and licensing division for guidelines in the proper monitoring of these entities.
Saculles said the move is not meant to alarm the public but is aimed at making sure that the city and its residents are safe from any form of violence or disturbance.
“We would like to emphasize that this action is not to discriminate against any individual, group or organization since the city does not tolerate discrimination of any kind and treats everybody equally under the law,” he stressed.
Saculles said the requested lists are only for monitoring purposes and that the rule of law will be followed in any form of investigation if required.
The police chief mentioned the recent capture of an Egyptian National in Manila who is an alleged member of the ISIS terrorist group that should remind authorities and the public to be wary and be on its toes against unwanted elements.
Saculles said the lists will form part of a strategic community-based data defense system that will assist the police in keeping the city safe as he asked the cooperation of various sectors in this endeavor since the police can only do so much.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan earlier met with representatives from the local Muslim community to police their ranks and report any suspicious individuals to the proper authorities. He made a similar appeal to barangay officials.
He also stressed that no individuals or groups are being targeted or discriminated against by the extra precautions but just to make sure that the city and its residents are safe and secure from any untoward incidences and harm.
By: Gaby Keith