In view of Tawi-tawi abduction, Celso reminds cops to be on alert PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 03 February 2012 13:58

Mayor Celso Lobregat has urged anew all law enforcement authorities and other stakeholders to be alert and vigilant in the wake of the latest abduction incident involving two foreign nationals in the province of Tawi-tawi.

As soon as he heard the report about the incident in Panglima Sugala town in Tawi-tawi, the chief executive Wednesday afternoon conferred with City Police OIC Director Col. Edwin de Ocampo to discuss security details and possible effects of the abduction to the city and other parts of the region.

“As soon as I received the news (about the abduction incident), I conferred with our City Police Director and I said we have to be on the alert”, the mayor said, admitting though that Tawi-tawi is far away from Zamboanga City. However, he stressed:  “But still this is a matter that will impact on the city, the region and the entire country”.

Dutch Ewold Horn, 52 and Swiss Lorenzo Vinciguerra, 54 and a Filipino tour guide were reportedly snatched by armed men while bird watching in Panglima Sugala, Tawi-tawi noon of Wednesday.  The Filipino tour guide however was able to escape based on reports.  Authorities have immediately launched rescue operations for the two foreigners.

Mayor Lobregat, who has been appointed chairman of the Regional Peace and Order Council in Zamboanga Peninsula expects the incident to affect anew the image not only of Tawi-tawi or Sulu area but of the entire country.

And when something like this happens, there will be a lot of reaction from the people, the mayor said adding “and so we have to do something just to assure the people that authorities have heightened alert”.

Other than the police, military and other law enforcement agencies, the chief executive said, other stakeholders such as civilian volunteers, barangay tanods and intelligence networks as well as the civilian populace should support and cooperate with the authorities in anti-crime and anti-terrorism efforts. — Sheila Covarrubias