FOLLOWING the recent arrest of an alleged foreign terrorist in the country’s capital, the Manila Police District (MPD) has been directed by Mayor Joseph E. Estrada to beef up security in the city.
Egyptian national Fehmi Lassquoed, alias John Rasheed Lassquoed, a former Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) commander of the Syrian-Turkish border, was captured last Sunday in a joint raid by the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines at an apartment in M. Adriatico, Ermita. He was apprehended together with his Filipina partner Anabel Moncera Salipada.
Responding to public concerns over their possible terror acts, Estrada, who called for a closed-door meeting with security officials, instructed MPD chief Police Chief Supt. Joel Napoleon Coronel to assess the city’s security status.
The local chief executive asked Coronel to come up with a protocol of security measures to protect his constituents.
Based on a report, Lassquoed was in Manila to recruit Filipino youth to become members of ISIS. He is suspected to target government offices and populated areas within the city for his terror plan.
Coronel has ensured Estrada that the entire police force has already put up a double security plan to prevent any possible terroristic acts by ISIS.
“I am encouraging everyone to focus on the safety and security aspects for the protection of our people,” the mayor said.
According to MPD spokesman Police Supt. Erwin Margarejo, the city’s police authority has been placed on “double alert” since the news about the arrest of Lassquoed broke out.
He said Coronel ordered a constant inspection of all MPD stations to maintain a defense task force.
Margarejo added that all Police Community Precincts have been conducting checkpoints and patrols, especially during late evenings and early mornings, to guarantee alertness of all police and security-duty personnel.
“Aside from that, we had already coordinated with the various intelligence agency to give information on any threat to the security of the city of Manila,” he noted.