CMindanao under heightened alert

CENTRAL Mindanao has been placed under heightened alert status after a string of violent incidents in the towns of Aleosan and Pikit in North Cotabato that occurred earlier this week.

On Tuesday, a bomb detonated inside a public bus, killing one passenger and injuring six in Aleosan.

Also on Tuesday, Samsudin Masulot, a councilor of Barangay Gokotan, was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Pikit.

On Wednesday evening, a joint army and police checkpoint in Barangay Poblacion in Pikit was subjected to twin grenade attacks. No one was reported hurt in the two incidents.

Because of these, the police had intensified the campaign against all forms of terror attack in Mindanao, BGen. Alexander Tagum said on Thursday.

“All our police forces, including military and force multipliers, are on double alert status,” Tagum said.

Tagum also clarified that the murder of Masulot was not related to the police raid in the same village that left six persons dead and the recovery of 440 stolen motorcycles and high-powered guns on Dec. 29, 2021.

“It was a gunman that flagged down the motorbike of Masulot in Barangay Balatican at 9 a.m. and shot him with a.45-caliber pistol, and it’s not true that Masulot has helped facilitate the recent police operation in Barangay Gokutan, according to social media posting, because the fact that Masulot was an advocate of peace and development program in the village and was commended several times by government and nongovernment organizations for his dedication,” Tagum said.