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04/11/2019 Philippines (International Christian Concern) – Philippine police is deploying up to 11,600 police officers to secure bus terminals, airports, seaports, churches and other pilgrimage sites ahead of Holy Week this year.

According to UCA News, Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, head of the National Capital Region Police Office, said all leave had been canceled and that a full alert had been declared in the capital to protect travelers, although there have been no security threats reported so far.

“We have not received any threats to disrupt the Holy Week, but we will remain vigilant,” said Eleazar.

Coordinating with the authorities, church leaders in Manila want to ensure the safety of people expected to flood to church during the week.

Last week, in preparation of Holy Week observance, the Manila Police District conducted a bomb and shooting response exercise in front of Manila Cathedral and at the San Agustin Church.

The predominantly Catholic Philippines has seen a growth of terrorist attacks in recent years. Last January, two bombs allegedly carried by suicide bombers at a Roman Catholic cathedral in Jolo killed 20 people and injured dozens more. Although Islamic State claimed responsibility, the authorities believe that active local terrorist group Abu Sayyaf was behind the plot.

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