The Task Force Davao will impose a “no jacket policy” on passengers approaching checkpoints within the city, as well as major events and activities in the city.
This was part of the new additions to the security plan implemented by the army contingent following the twin suicide bombing that killed eight individuals in Jolo, Sulu.
Speaking at Wednesday’s AFP-PNP press briefing held at The Royal Mandaya Hotel, Col. Consolito Yecla, the commander of Task Force Davao, said that even if Davao City is always on red alert, they have to install stricter measures for the safety of everybody.
“And so for the coming big activities, we will be requesting the city government to impose the non-wearing of jackets when you are approaching inspection areas, ” he said, adding that the no backpack policy will continue.
This is only a precautionary measure, he said, considering that people with suicide vests typically wear layers of clothing.
Also, in addition to the mandatory body search, Yecla said they will also be deploying advance guards, probably 20 to 30 meters away from the inspection area.
“What so we really doing is to check those who are with jackets or with heavy backpacks,” he said.
This is an additional layer of security so if the suicide bomber will detonate the vest, the damage will hopefully be minimal. He said they will also ban the parking of vehicles near major activities.
“It is not difficult to do because it is selective we will just inspect those backpacks that can assess that are heavy and we will inspect those jackets that are thick,” Yecla said.
Yecla said they have already coordinated with the Philippine National Police but they have yet to talk to the city government. There will be two soldiers or police officers per team. One will do the body search and the other serves as a spotter.
“Our standard operating procedure will be to require those being inspected to open their arms so that we can see of their body is clear from suicide vest, ” he added.