Additional police and military personnel are set to secure Zamboanga City following Sunday’s bomb explosions, which authorities called an “act of terrorism.”

A company, or about 100 personnel, of the 9th Regional Public Safety Battalion have been ordered to augment the local force, city police director Senior Supt. Edwin de Ocampo said in a phone interview.

The military’s Task Force Zamboanga also committed 60 personnel to help police secure the city, which is currently holding activities for the month-long Zamboanga Hermosa, de Ocampo said.

“Meron na rin tayong mga checkpoint sa entry and exit points of the city at ang isa pa nating ginagawa, yung mga tao natin pinapapunta ko sa lahat ng establishments para kausapin ang security guards to be more vigilant,” he added.

Earlier, PNP chief Dir. Gen. Nicanor Bartolome tasked policemen in Zamboanga City and nearby areas to tighten security after the almost simultaneous explosions at a cockpit in Brgy. San Roque and a pension house in Brgy. Guiwan.

“What is important now is for our troops sa Zamboanga City to ensure na walang mangyayaring ganitong similar na incident lalo na at merong celebration doon na fiesta,” Bartolome told reporters in Camp Crame.

The PNP chief also tasked the local police to thoroughly investigate the bombings, which left at least 10 people injured.

De Ocampo said his investigators have yet to determine who were behind the bombings, but called the incident an “act of terrorism.”

“‘Yung action na ‘yun ay act of terrorism, hindi pa lang natin masabi kung ‘yung gumawa ay talagang terrorists,” he said.

Nevertheless, De Ocampo said he is not discounting the possibility that the Abu Sayyaf may have had a hand in the bombings.

“Isa ‘yan (Abu Sayyaf) sa mga tinitingnan, siyempre hindi matanggal ‘yan, ngayon ay nasa elimination process kami, based sa mga evidences… sa ngayon ay di pa matukoy, dahil di pa tapos ang pag-reconstruct ng EOD dun sa explosives na ginamit. When we have reconstructed the IEDs, we will compare them to the previous bombings even outside Zamboanga City,” De Ocampo said. (John Roson)

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