Western Visayas Police Chief Puts Region under Full Alert Status

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The entire police force in Western Visayas has been placed under the highest security alert status in anticipation of possible tactical offensive by communist rebels to mark Labor Day protest actions on May 1 Wednesday next week.

Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz, Jr., Western Visayas police director said the declaration of full alert status was based on what he earlier said was a history of escalating attacks by the New Peolpe's Army (NPA) during the Labor Day celebrations in the past.

"It seems that it has become their (the NPA's) annual tradition to carry out offensives every May 1 so we have to be ready," said Cruz.

Full alert, which is equivalent to red alert in the military, means that all leaves of absence by uniformed police personnel are cancelled to ensure 100 percent attendance, Cruz said he had already directed all field commanders to intensify intelligence gathering, police visibility and other pro-active security measures.

"All police personnel are also warned against liquidation plots by the rebel groups," said Cruz. The region's police director also said public and private vital installations will be placed on tight watch by the police in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as these facilities are usual targets of NPA bombings. …