Terrorists fleeing Mindanao to be barred to hide in Pangasinan

DAGUPAN CITY — Pangasinan police is prepared to stop any terrorist escaping from troubled Marawi City and Mindanao to seek refuge in Pangasinan where there is a good number of Muslim population.

This was said by P/Chief Inspector Norman Florentino, chief of the police-community relations office of the Pangasinan Police Provincial Office (PPPO), as he expressed doubt the trouble in Marawi City could spill over to Pangasinan.

When asked on what they would do if Muslim terrorists fleeing from Mindanao come and seek sanctuary with their relatives in Pangasinan, Florentino said this was the reason the Pangasinan police was in full alert and establishing checkpoints along the highways, especially at night, to ensure that no such thing would happen.

Florentino explained that being on full alert means that all personnel of the PPPO would have to be present including all those on leave, so that they could be harnessed for security duty anywhere needed.

The police are now conducting checkpoints at least three times a day and called upon motorists to stop and voluntarily submit their vehicles for inspection by slightly opening their windows and switching their lights on at night.

The plain view doctrine will be observed in all these checkpoints and no human rights violation will be committed, Florentino assured.

As to the fear that the New People’s Army (NPA) might enter the province, Florentino said checkpoints were established in all gateways and exits of the province. Aside from these they conduct regular patrols near their boundaries.

He also assured the security and safety of vital installations in Pangasinan such as the San Roque Multi-purpose Dam Project and the Sual-Coal-fired power plants where a company of security forces were already in place in inside and outside of each location.

Asked by newsmen if they were monitoring local Muslims who might be sympathizing with the terrorists in Mindanao, Florentino said the Muslim population in Pangasinan were living peacefully with the local population.

He said there was close coordination among the local Muslim population, the local governments and the police in Pangasinan.

But he lamented that a few of the Muslims in the province were involved in the illegal drug trade. LVM/PNA-northboundasia.com