“Weakest link” no more!
The Task Force Davao (TFD) is now tapping the vendors as its “eyes and ears” against terrorists and criminals, especially during major events in the city.
Col. Consolito Yecla, TFD commander, said vendors are often considered as the easy targets in any terrorism activities due to their vulnerability.
But the vendors, if given proper directions, can be utilized even as a means to stop terrorists’ plans.
With this, the TFD is organizing vendors to secure themselves and help authorities in countering those with criminal minds.
Presently, the TFD has conducted at least 20 anti-terror seminars, including the institutionalization of the culture of security, to around 2,600 individuals selling goods at the Roxas Night Market, San Pedro Square, Bankerohan Market, transport terminals, various parks, and busy streets.
As part of its preparations for the Pasko Fiesta 2019, the TFD gathered street vendors and massage therapists from San Pedro Square and Roxas Night Market last Nov. 20 at Almendras Gym to discuss the plans.
“The engagement with the vendors is assessed to be crucial in implementing the concept of maximum security zone during Pasko Fiesta and other big events in Davao City,” Yecla said.
At least two bombing incidents in the city victimized vendors in the city.
On April 3, 2003, a bomb exploded at Sasa Wharf, killing 30 persons and wounding 100 others. The Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was placed in a vendor’s open stall.
On Sept. 13. 2016, a bomb exploded at the city’s night market in Roxas Avenue, killing 15 persons and wounded 70 others, mostly vendors. The bomb was planted at the message area of the crowded market.