By Mario Casayuran
Senator Panfilo M, Lacson advised on Monday the police against unnecessarily alarming the public by disseminating an ‘’unverified report’’ that a member of an armed group shouted ‘’Alahu Akbar’’ just before engaging lawmen in a gunfight in Batangas the other night.
Recent events have shown that the shouting of ‘’Alahu Akbaar’’ was made by Islamic terrorists during or after gunfights with government forces.
Lacson, a former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, said such information was very sensitive and its accuracy was of utmost importance before any dissemination to the public was made.
‘’Having said that, a thorough background check and investigation on the slain individuals must be undertaken. If confirmed to belong to a terrorist group, links must be determined and follow-up operations must immediately be conducted in coordination with the intelligence community and specialized units who are specially trained to handle the same,’’ he stressed.
‘’Otherwise, the police should not unnecessarily alarm the public by disseminating unverified report, probably based only on the “Alahu Akbar” statement of those killed before the alleged shootout,’’ he added.
Batangas police had an encounter with a group of suspected gun-for-hire in Batangas last Sunday.
In the end, the group members shouted “Alahu Akbar!” as they fought it out with the police.
Media reports stated that there was also a list of target government officials as well as public places in Metro Manila.
The initial police assessment is that this could be a terror group out to sow terror in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon.