EDITORIAL|Penalize owners of unattended bags

THE threat to our peace and order situation is real and should be taken seriously not only by the local executives and law enforcers but by all peace loving citizens. Martial Law and the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus are not just documents to ensure people are mindful of the tenuous situation, these should make us more vigilant to threats by terrorists.

For the past month, we have been besieged by all kinds of text messages and Facebook posts that spread information on possible threat attacks. While it pays to be careful, we should not readily pass on this information to others before checking it out to authorities. Notes like this usually cause panic and can endanger lives or have detrimental effects on business establishments.

Now the city council is proposing an ordinance that will make people more aware of their own personal things while they are in public places. Most of the time, we just leave our things unattended especially if we think we can return to it in a few minutes. There have been reports of people thrown in panic  in stores or even transport terminals upon seeing a bag left unattended by its owner. With the number of bombing incidents in the city, seeing the bag immediately brings to mind previous instances, causing suspicion and then, panic.

The proposed ordinance now being deliberated by the city council will carry with it fines and imprisonment for those who defy it.

The military looks at this measure as a proactive step in security. People will exercise caution on their own properties at the same time be constantly aware of the situation they are in, especially in public places where they are vulnerable.

Brig. Gen. Gilbert Gapay, spokesperson of the Martial Law implementation in Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom), said everybody should be involved in helping security forces protect and prevent terror attack.

Posted in Opinion