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Heightened screening and monitoring in San Pedro Square

The San Pedro square has been declared a maximum security zone.

On Tuesday, the City Council passed a resolution based on the proposal submitted by Councilor Maria Belen Acosta, chair of the committee on peace and public safety.

“The San Pedro Square has always been the venue of the city’s big events and activities such as the annually celebrated Kadayawan sa Davao, Araw ng Davao, and other big events,” the resolution states.

The San Pedro square covers City Hall, Sangguniang Panlungsod, the Davao City Police Office, the San Pedro Cathedral, and the immediate environs. Acosta said it’s where a large cluster of people typically gathers.

With the declaration of the maximum security zone, the access to the entry points will be “controlled and limited to authorized, appropriately screened personnel and authorized and properly escorted visitors, and monitored 24 hours a day and 7 days a week by peace-keeping forces.”

“With the anticipation of the possible lifting of Martial Law in the city, we will declare the San Pedro as a maximum security zone,” said Acosta.

The following areas will be included in the maximum security zone: from Jaltan-Pichon Street also known as Magallanes Street going to Bonifacio Monument Rotonda; C.M. Recto to corner Rizal Extension; Rizal Extension to corner C. Bangoy; C. Bangoy to corner San Pedro Street; San Pedro Street to corner City Hall Drive; City Hall Drive to corner Pichon Street.

The measure is part of the move of the security forces to create a culture of security which, according to the resolution, will capitalize on the resiliency and ability of Davaoeños “to collectively work in addressing the threats to the community.”

“The culture of security is not just for the maximum security zone but with the whole of Davao City. We must bear in us the sense of community,” Acosta said.

“If we want our city to be secured, we have to cooperate, report suspicious incidents that we believe can compromise our city’s peace and public safety, because after all, it is every body’s teamwork that will help us achieve the culture of security,” the Councilor added.

Task Force Davao commander Col. Consolito Yecla said their request to the City Council is for “the authority to implement the policies to ensure that the security concerns will be effectively addressed.”

Also on Tuesday, the City Council passed under suspended rules to petition President Duterte into excluding Davao City from the Martial Law imposition.

On May 23, 2017, President Duterte declared the whole of Mindanao under martial law as a response of the terror attack of the Maute group and the Abu Sayyaf in Marawi City.

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