What exacerbated the situation was the proliferation of Facebook posts that warned the public against going to crowded places on account of the intel report.
Meanwhile, Senior Inspector Malu Calubaquib confirmed to BICOL STANDARD that a conference of police officers was held at Camp Simeon Ola in Legazpi City yesterday primarily to tackle the issue regarding the leaked intelligence report and other preparations for the forthcoming Penafrancia fiesta celebration.
In a press release this morning, the Police Regional Office 5 said this possible threat was among its peace and order concerns.
It reads: “The terrorists and other threat groups may take advantage of the festivities to undertake sabotage, raids and other terroristic activities against PRO5 and AFP units/installations to embarrass the government.
On the other hand, pickpockets, thieves and other unscrupulous individuals may perpetrate their nefarious activities, while robbery/hold-up groups may likewise conduct robberies/hold-ups on vehicles ferrying devotees/tourists along the Maharlika and Andaya Highways.
Further, cause-oriented groups may stage various rallies/demonstrations to embarrass the government in the eyes of the foreign devotees/tourists. And these are the peace and order concerns of the PRO5.”
“To address such, PRO5 created Peace and Order Task Force for the Peñafrancia Festival 2016, which will serve as the front-liner in the conduct of security operations within Naga City and its adjacent municipalities in Camarines Sur. This is to pre-empt inimical plans of the terrorists and other threat groups, likewise, to ensure the success, peaceful and orderly celebrations of Peñafrancia Festival 2016.”
To augment the Naga City police force, Walfredo G. Pornillos, Provincial Director of Camarines Sur Provincial Police Office will provide 500 PNP personnel organized into teams to assure the devotees of their safety in the fiesta celebrations.
On the other hand, Police Chief Superintendent Melvin Ramon G. Buenafe has asked for the public’s support and involvement by reporting any relevant and timely information to the nearest police station or through social media Facebook Account (Kasurog Bicol) and Twitter Account @PRO5 React or by calling or texting the hotline, 09173097862.
In a related report, the Police Regional Office 5 this morning warned the public from believing and disseminating unverified information on alleged security threats. It added that posting and sharing such unverified information is punishable by law.
This coming Friday, a huge crowd of devotees will flock to Naga City for the Traslacion procession, which signals the start of the Penafrancia festivities.