By Anthony Vargas, Reporter
THE horror brought by the bombing of a packed
commuter trains in Manila on December 30, 2000, by a group of
renegade Islamic extremist continues to haunt the police.
Some 20 people died and scores were seriously
injured in the attacks blamed on the Jemaah Islamiah, a pan-regional
group linked to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda.
Metro Manila Police chief, Director Reynaldo
Varilla, on Saturday admitted that they have yet to get over the
stigma brought by one of the deadliest terror attacks in the
“That’s why our security preparations is not
only against criminality but also toward terrorism and communist
[rebels],” Varilla said in a briefing at the Quezon City Police
station 10 in Kamuning, near the former headquarters of the
extremist Rajah Sulaiman Movement.
The police official chief said that they have
already intensified police presence in public areas to ensure a
peaceful holiday season for Metro Manila.
“So far we have not received any information
of [possible] terror attacks. Rest assured that the police is doing
its best to ensure a peaceful holiday,” Varilla added.
But sources from the intelligence community told
The Manila Times they received information as early as two months
ago on extremists’ plans to carry out bombing attacks before the
Australia has issued a travel alert against
visits to some areas in Mindanao, including Davao City and the
Zamboanga Peninsula, but no warning has yet focused on the national
“There are reports of such planned of attacks
. . . and the remnants of the group that staged the Rizal Day
bombing are still capable of doing this,” said by a senior
intelligence source who requested anonymity because he was
discussing confidential reports.