West Visayas PNP on alert vs terror groups in Ati-Atihan, Dinagyang

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Police in Western Visayas will be on alert for terrorist groups during religious festivities this weekend, including the Ati-Atihan in Aklan and the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City.

Western Visayas police director Chief Superintendent Jose Gentiles said they will aim for zero untoward incidents at the Ati-Atihan Festival Jan. 14 to 15.

Backpacks are not allowed at the Ati-Atihan Festival venues in Kalibo starting Jan. 9. A gun ban was also enforced starting Jan. 9.

But Gentiles also appealed to the public to be vigilant, The Daily Guardian reported.

“We aim for zero incident. While we remain on guard, we also appeal to the public to be observant and vigilant,” he said.

Also, police and military personnel were advised to be alert against possible retaliation from the Ansar Khalifa Philippines, whose leader Mohammad Jaafar Maguid a.k.a. “Tokboy” was killed recently.

On the other hand, police will also be on guard in Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan as it will be visited by Miss Universe delegates and contestants.

Last Jan. 9, the Western Visayas regional police deployed 600 uniformed policemen as augmentation force to Aklan.