THE EASTERN Mindanao Command directed all units under its joint operational area to heighten their operations following the two major tragedies that rocked Mindanao on Dec. 2 and 3.
For instance, EastMinCom’s anti-terrorism unit Joint Task Force (JTF) Haribon has intensified its security measures following an explosion that killed 11 and injured several students in Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi on Dec. 3.
As of this writing, JTF Haribon troops continue to conduct checkpoints at entry points, bus boarding operations, foot/water patrols and enhanced troop visibility in strategic downtown areas in coordination with the Davao City Police Office and other law enforcement agencies.
Simultaneously, the unit intensified its intelligence monitoring and security operations through systematized and coordinated security schemes among cognizant units, especially in places of convergence to ensure public safety during the holiday season.
EastMinCom likewise deployed 30 Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) teams to assist the local government units after the 7.4 magnitude earthquake that hit the coastal town of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, and affected other parts of Eastern Mindanao on Dec. 2.
Troops promptly conducted mobile security patrol, transportation assistance, monitoring/ocular inspection for any infrastructure damages, and other humanitarian assistance activities in collaboration with the local government units and relevant agencies to aid affected communities, especially the coastal towns of Surigao del Sur and Davao Oriental.
In the latest situational report, the tremor has affected several areas in the Caraga and Davao regions, with 16 schools, 543 houses, 38 buildings, and four bridges partially damaged. The earthquake also affected 13,401 families, comprising 61,791 individuals, with 14 reported injuries and three confirmed deaths.
In his message, EastMinCom chief Lieutenant General Greg T. Almerol emphasized that although the bombing incident in Marawi City remains isolated, the government forces in Eastern Mindanao will not put their guards down to ensure the safety of the people during the yuletide season.
“We assure everyone that we are on top of the situation. Although Marawi City is far from our area, we have alerted our troops to heighten their security operations to prevent possible spillover of terrorist atrocities in Eastern Mindanao. We urge the public to adhere to our Culture of Security by promptly reporting any suspicious individuals or group of people in their area to authorities,” Almerol said.
The EastMinCom commander also lauded the alertness and readiness of the AFP units within his joint area of operations that responded during the calamity while also ensuring the security of their respective areas of jurisdiction.
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