Report suspicious-looking individuals, AFP urges public

By Priam Nepomuceno

July 31, 2018, 6:44 pm

MANILA -- Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo urged the public to immediately report to police and military authorities any suspicious-looking person in their area.

"We call on our people to be vigilant and continue their active participation with security forces in reporting their observations," Arevalo told a press briefing in the wake of the blast in Lamitan City, Basilan that killed 11 people and wounded seven others.

He said this means the public should notify the AFP and Philippine National Police of any suspicious person or activity occurring in their locality.

Arevalo said authorities will not stop tracking down and neutralizing terrorists headed by Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) leader Furuji Indama, who is believed to have been involved in the attack.

The explosion took place near the Magwakit Detachment in Barangay Colonia, Lamitan City at 5:50 a.m. Tuesday.

Reports indicated that troops in the area intercepted a white van containing improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Inspection was ongoing when the vehicle exploded, killing one soldier, five members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU), and four civilians, including the driver who was believed to be Indama. Injured were one CAFGU and six members of the 9th Scout Ranger Company.

According to Arevalo, the attack was in response to the growing number of ASG terrorists voluntarily surrendering to government forces, causing the bandit group to lose ground in Basilan. (PNA)