BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan urged residents and visitors to be vigilant on the reported influx of Muslims to the different barangays in the city as an offshoot of the month-long Marawi siege to make sure that relatives of the members of the Maoti terrorist group will not come to the city and create trouble.
The local chief executive also directed the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) to again engage the leaders of the Muslim community in the city to make sure that they are able to police their own ranks after receiving reports that there were several groups of Muslims who allegedly boarded Baguio-bound buses from La Union to make sure that their identities will be taken and validated.
Further, he said BCPO personnel must also engage owners of business establishments to make sure that their security preparations are in place, saying that security guards should work as guards and not for them to do other duties assigned by the owners outside their supposed job.
“We call on our people to be vigilant on what is happening in their neighborhood. Our constituents must report to their barangay officials or the police suspicious-looking individuals in their neighborhood so that immediate verifications can be done on their identities,” Domogan stressed.
He said there is nothing wrong if those displaced by the Marawi siege will come to the city to join their friends and relatives but there is still a need for concerned authorities to validate and verify their identities to prevent unscrupulous individuals from being harbored in the city which could result to unnecessary actions that might compromise the city’s peace and order situation.
According to him, barangay officials should also do their part by making sure that they are aware of the presence of new faces in their areas of jurisdiction so that they can immediately seek the assistance of concerned authorities once they find the said people to be doubtful upon verification and validation procedures.
Earlier, city and police officials solicited the support of leaders of the Muslim community in the city to police their own ranks and requested them to inform the concerned authorities of the identities of Muslims who come to the city after being displaced by the Marawi siege and for them to vouch for their integrity and credibility.
However, he emphasized that the verification and validation of new faces in the barangays will not only be applicable to the Muslims but also to other individuals coming from other places who want to reside with their friends and relatives in the city purposely to work or do business in the city among others.
He underscored residents and visitors are peace-loving that is why any untoward incident that will compromise the city’s peace and order situation will significantly affect the state of the local tourism industry, thus, efforts to sustain peace and order should be the responsibility of every citizen by actively participating in reporting to concerned authorities potential threats to the city’s peace and order situation for the conduct of the appropriate action. /By Dexter A. See