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Heightened alert

Davao City on lockdown, but this time not for COVID-19


THE MILITARY and the police are on full alert status following the suicide bombing attacks in Jolo, Sulu that killed at least 15 law enforcers and civilians and wounded 75 others.

Mayor Sara Duterte enjoined Davaoeños to be vigilant as terrorists might take advantage of the pandemic to sow chaos.

“Kung dili ta mag matngon, kung dili ta maghatag og importance, ug dili ta magpakita og care sa atoang syudad ug isig katawo, atong mga kaubang Dabawenyo diri sa Davao City, mahitabo gyud na sa atoa (If we don’t take caution, don’t give importance, and don’t show care for our city and fellow Davaoeños here in Davao City, it [bombing] will happen to us)” she said.

Duterte said that everybody should “support the culture of security” being enforced in Davao City.

Col. Consolito Yecla, the Task Force Davao commander, said that they have strengthened the checkpoint operations on the three border control areas.

“Emphases are on the inspection of motorcycle tanks and utility box and on inspection of individuals wearing scarves and robe-like dresses in the inspection cubicle area,” Yecla said.

They are also implementing the following measures:

  • Strengthened the checkpoint operations at the airport, seaports, and terminals
  • Deployed additional maritime patrols in coordination with Maritime Force
  • Prohibited all motorcycles from parking in critical areas
  • Coordinated with other Intel Units outside the area of operation
  • Inspected establishments and vital installations for security checks
  • Implement the identified maximum security zones
  • Coordinated with market managers and security officers of critical establishments

Yecla also encouraged the public to practice the four acts of the culture of security– volunteer, report, remind and participate.

“While we do not have a direct threat in Davao City, we should never lower our guard against the terrorists,” Yecla said. “We should always maintain our level of vigilance even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Brig. Gen. Filmore Escobal, the director of the Police Regional Office XI, said all their personnel were already alerted on the heightened security status.

“The PRO XI condemns the Aug. 24 twin bombings in Jolo Sulu. It was an act of terrorism that took the lives and injured not only government forces but also the innocent civilians,” Escobal said.

“This is the reason why the PRO XI strongly supports the Anti -Terrorism Act of 2020 or RA 11479,” he added.

Col. Kirby John Kraft, the Davao City Police Office director, echoed Escobal’s statements and he said they already locked down the city. “(There are) Additional checkpoints mounted in DCPO,” Kraft said.

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