President Aquino just had a hasty press conference yesterday and unveiled what has been buzzing all over the intelligence community these past few days--a plot to terrorize the Black Nazarene procession. According to the President, a group of terrorists have been spotted in Metro Manila. Sources say at least six of the nine terrorists have been arrested already. These people, according to reports, plan to bomb the procession and create international attention.
More than 4,000 cops have been deployed and the entire security apparatus of the Philippine state under heightened alert today.
Aquino refused to identify the local group, but several analysts believe they are members of the dreaded Abu Sayyaf which uses a different name. Several high-profile international terrorists have been spotted in Mindanao lately, including Marduk, a Malaysian bomb expert. Prior to this, bomb incidents have been reported in Mindanao, a prelude, says another expert, in the plan to bomb Manila.
Government is confident that thru the cooperation of the people, the threat will be contained, and today's procession will go on peacefully.
The Black Nazarene procession is the biggest religious activity of the Catholic Church in this country, attracting more than 4 million people every single year.
Several days ago, the US issued a travel advisory against the Philippines. Government however said the advisory is not directly linked with the discovery of the alleged plot.