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Beefed-up security | 15,000-strong security force to guard Kadayawan

Following the Basilan blast, authorities in the city are increasing security measures especially with the upcoming Kadayawan festival.

In an interview, Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) chief Benito de Leon said 15,600 agents from various law enforcement agencies are assigned to the event.

“There is an increase (of forces) because of what happened in Basilan,” de Leon said.

At least 11 persons were killed in a van blast at a checkpoint in Lamitan, Basilan on Tuesday. The Abu Sayyaf was tagged to be behind the bombing.

Col. Nolasco Mempin, the commander of Task Force Davao, also said they will continue their security patrol in the city, particularly in checkpoints, so any terror group could not enter the city.

Sr. Insp. Maria Theresita Gaspan, the spokesperson of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO), said Police Regional Director, Chief Supt Manuel Gaerlan, assured to augment the police forces in the city for the festival with troopers from the Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RFMB).

Gaspan said civilian volunteers like village watchmen and police auxiliary will also be deployed.

Launched last July 9, the 33rd Kadayawan Festival is set on Aug. 15 to 21.

City Tourism Officer Generose Tecson said they are hoping to break the tourist attendance of 200,000 from last year’s 185,000 tourist arrivals.

The city and its private partners will be spending a combined P44 million for this year, with the city government shouldering P12 million.

Food festivals, parties, and other events highlight the celebration of harvest.

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