Two days ago, a bomb was detonated in the predominantly Christian city of General Santos, amidst a crowd of holiday shoppers. The resulting blast took the lives of no less than 15 people on the scene. One individual was reportedly killed instantly. According to sources from two main hospitals in the city, additional fatalities were reported. An additional 52 people were injured and in critical condition. So far police have not linked any suspects to the bombing and are furthering investigations.
In response, Filipino officials have decided to reinforce security all over Metro Manila, Philippines. Metro police chief Avelino Razón Jr. reported to the press that the police will be on the look out for terrorists seeking to masquerade as holiday-goers. Nonetheless Razón maintains that there is no reason to be alarmed, saying that the preparedness and public vigilance is the best security against terrorism during the holidays. In a press release, Razón emphasized that his National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) would vigilantly guard the peace in the metropolitan area. Though there is no reports that terrorist plan to attack Metro Manila, Razón stated that he would not take chances.
In addition, Razón has supplemented police resources by recruiting barangay officials and local volunteer groups to form a network of informants to improve police surveillance for suspicious activity in any form during the celebrations. Razón has also diverted hundreds of uniformed officers from various regions into the NCRPO to increase the police presence throughout the city.
Since the beginning of this year, hundreds of people have died from church bombings and assasinations. The governments resolve to protect the innocent lives of many Christians brings great relief to those having to face the threat of terrorism everyday. With added security, this holiday season will perhaps allow Christians in the Philippines to pass a more peaceful as well as a delightful Christmas season.