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PNP: Osama's death a major blow to terrorism

(Updated 2:08 p.m.) The Philippine National Police on Monday described the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden as "a victory for all peace loving citizens and a major blow to terrorists and terrorism." "Malaking kabawasan ito sa mga terorista. Magtutulungan ang PNP at AFP para masigurong mapipigilan [ang] mga sympathy or retaliatory attacks ng mga terrorista sa Pilipinas pero no need to raise [the] alert level of the PNP," said Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr. in a text message to reporters. Philippine authorities have said that local terrorists in southern Philippines, particularly the Abu Sayyaf, have links with Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network. Some operatives of the Jemaah Islamiyah, tagged as al-Qaeda's arm in the Southeast Asian region, have been arrested in Mindanao. On Sunday, (Monday, Manila time) US President Barack Obama announced that US forces killed bin Laden in Pakistan. US authorities have also taken into custody the body of the al-Qaeda leader. The news comes nearly 10 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, which triggered the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. NCRPO still on full alert The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), meanwhile, remains to be on full alert following bin Laden’s death. NCRPO spokesperson Senior Superintendent Dionardo Carlos said the full alert status raised in Metro Manila last April 13 in preparation for the Holy Week has not been downgraded. “Wala pang order mula sa NCRPO leadership regarding that development (Bin Laden’s death), pero hindi pa ibinababa ang full alert status since Holy Week," he said in a phone interview. He added that the 17,000 policemen all over Metro Manila remain “ready" to respond to any untoward incident in the country’s capital region. The full alert status in the country’s police force bans policemen from going on leave, and requires them to report for work to ensure peace and order in their respective areas. — with Andreo C. Calonzo/RSJ/KBK, GMA News