MANILA – All personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in the entire Southwestern Mindanao has been placed on heightened alert on Monday following two explosions in Jolo, Sulu.
In a statement, PCG Commandant, Admiral George Ursabia Jr., has declared the “red alert” specifically affecting PCG personnel in Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.
In addition to heightened security measures, the PCG said its personnel will support the forces of both the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in its investigation into the bombings.
The investigation, it said, is currently focused on identifying the perpetrators, “responding to casualties and ensuring the safety of the residents against succeeding threats”.
“Moreover, PCG K9 units, safety inspectors, and patrol boat operators are directed to be extra vigilant in securing ports, harbors, and other waterways in the region,” the PCG said.
It said that several K9 units are ready for deployment once requested by the AFP.
Earlier, two subsequent bombings rocked Jolo, Sulu; killing a total of nine people, including four soldiers, in the initial explosion that occurred around 11:53 a.m.
The second explosion, which occurred at 1:06 p.m., happened 100 meters away from the site of the first explosion, injuring responding soldiers and policemen. (PNA)