Mindanao bishops urge public to be vigilant following Bin Laden’s death PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 07 May 2011 15:10

Mindanao Catholic bishops have urged the public for renewed vigilance amid reports of possible retaliation by al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups following the killing of Osama bin Laden by United States forces in Pakistan.

Bishops Martin Jumoad of Basilan, Juan de Dios Pueblos of Butuan and Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo of Cotabato said that possible retaliation is a major concern.

The church officials agreed with government authorities that attacks are likely to happen in the terrorist-infested Mindanao after the killing of bin Laden.

“Mindanao areas are very vulnerable to terroristic activities because these places are their hideouts. We are really worried of the impending retaliation,” said Jumoad.

For his part, Bagaforo said: “Terror threats in Mindanao are real. Bin Laden and the Jemaah Islamiyah have strong supporters based in Mindanao. They have done terrorism before and they can possibly do it again.”

“There is really a possibility (for retaliatory attacks) with the presence of al-Qaeda here in Mindanao,” Pueblos said.

Authorities predicted a heightened risk, particularly in Mindanao and called for extra vigilance in case sympathizers and allies sought revenge for bin Laden’s death.

The church leaders appealed to the authorities to do everything to prevent such attacks to Filipinos.

“We only ask the military to double their Red Alert status,” said Jumoad.
They also ask the public to cooperate with the authorities on matters of security in the region.
“We call on everyone’s cooperation. We are all vulnerable to terrorism. We need to pray to defeat evil,” added Bagaforo.