PNP on full alert in Mindanao after Sultan Kudarat blast

MANILA, Philippines – Police in Mindanao have gone on full alert starting Wednesday. August 29, following the Sultan Kudarat blast that killed at least two people and hurt 37 others.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde told reporters in a news briefing on Wednesday that he issued the order to all Mindanao regional chiefs that morning.

"Effective this morning, I directed all the regional directors ng Mindanao area to declare a full alert status already. Ito 'yung tugon hangga't hindi matapos 'yung martial law: We will maintain our full alert status in Mindanao," Albayalde said in a news briefing in Camp Crame.

(Effective this morning, I directed all regional directors of Mindanao to declare a full alert status already. This is our response until martial law ends: We will maintain our full alert status in Mindanao.)

Declaring full alert status means intensifying checkpoints and police operations during a certain period of time. For cops, this means working overtime until the full alert status is lifted.

Albayalde stressed the need for heightened intelligence operations following the latest incident which happened less than a month after a bomb blast near a Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit (CAFGU) detachment in Lamitan City, Basilan, that killed 11 people.

For Mindanao cops, going on full alert means doubling their efforts until at least December 31, 2018 – the supposed last day of martial law in Mindanao since the Marawi siege.

Malacañang said another extension of martial law in Mindanao was an "option" following the Sultan Kudarat bombing.  –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.