By Joseph Jubelag
Local authorities have debunked reports circulated on the social media that the city has been placed under a locked down security alert amid imminent terror attacks.
Vice Mayor Shirlyn Nograles said the report circulated on the social media was an offshoot after security officials conducted a dry-run to quell a possible terror attack in the city over the weekend.
She said part of the simulation activity was to place the entire city under a locked down security protocol wherein no one would be allowed to enter and get out of the city.
Nograles, who was designated acting mayor after Mayor Ronnel Rivera left for Australia for the Pacquiao-Horn boxing bout, said security measures had been tightened in the city in the wake of intelligence report that members of a local terrorist group were planning to sow terror in the city by bombing vital government installations and malls.
“Residents of the city thought that the security dry-run was for real in which residents started to panic and posted information into the social media,” Nograles said.
She said that even her relatives and friends called her to verify the reported lock down of the entire city.
Security forces have foiled a possible terror attack here following the arrest of a suspected terrorist last Thursday in an outskirt village here.
Police identified the suspect as Abdulazis Mangambit, a resident of Barangay Daliao, Maasim, Sarangani.
Galgo said the suspect who is a member of Ansar Al-Khilafah Philippines, a local terror group which pledged allegiance to ISIS, was arrested by police and military intelligence operatives at his hideout in Barangay Calumpang here.
He said the arrested suspect was included in the Arrest Order No. 2 issued by martial law administrator Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
Mangambit was said to be the aide of AKP leader Mohammad Jaafar Maguid alias Commander Tokboy who was killed in an encounter with government forces in Kiamba, Sarangani last January.
Authorities said Mangambit was tasked to carry out bomb attacks on government installations and malls in the city.
Security forces seized improvised explosive device and fragmentation grenade from the suspect.