COTABATO CITY– Police and military authorities in Maguindanao have been placed on alert status during the fasting month of Ramadhan.
Colonel Dickson Hermoso, 6th Infantry Division spokesperson, said all military units in Maguindanao that include 601st, 603rd and the first and second mechanized infantry brigades have been placed on alert status to thwart any attempt from lawless elements to sow terror during the holy month.
“We are not taking any chances, they did it last year, they may do it again,” Hermoso said of the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) members who last year launched simultaneous attacks against military installations at the start of the fasting month.
Such attacks dislocated some 20,000 villagers in the towns of Datu Unsay, Datu Saudi, Datu Salibo, Mamasapano, Datu Piang, and Shariff Saidona.
Citing intelligence information, Hermoso said the BIFF might stage attacks to sabotage the observance of the Ramadan.
The Ramadan, to start upon the sighting of the new moon either on Friday night, or at dusk on Saturday, is one of the five pillars of Islam.
During the holy month, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk for 30 days.
“Tight security measures shall be imposed to prevent attacks by this group during the fasting month,” Hermoso said.
Chief Supt. Noel Delos Reyes, police regional director for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao where Maguindanao is a component province, has placed all police provincial and municipal office to anticipate possible terror attacks and to maintain law and order during the holy month.