Bicutan jail searched to thwart terror plans

MANILA, Philippines – The police chief of the National Capital Region (NCR) ordered the search of jail facilities in Bicutan, Taguig City, to thwart possible terror plans as the Feast of the Black Nazarene approaches. 

Chief Superintendent Oscar Albayalde, chief of the NCR Police Office (NCRPO), issued this directive with the approval of Ismael Sueno, Philippine Secretary of the Interior and Local Government (SILG). 

"The Regional Police Director Oscar Albayalde, upon guidance of the SILG Sueno, ordered the immediate search of jail facilities inside Bicutan to thwart any terrorism plans or activities," NCRPO spokesperson Chief Inspector Kimberly Molitas said on Saturday, January 7.

Molitas said the search is ongoing as of posting.

Police conducted this search of the Bicutan jail after Sueno said the terrorist Maute Group, as well as the Abu Sayyaf Group, might target the Feast of the Black Nazarene on Monday, January 9.

Police earlier said 5,763 law enforcers will be deployed to secure Nazarene devotees on Monday.

The Palace on Saturday also advised devotees to "look out for one another" during Monday's feast. 

The annual January 9 feast is expected to draw up to 8 million devotees raring to touch or see a 17th-century mulatto image of Jesus Christ, in a procession called the Traslacion. – Paterno Esmaquel II/