Davao City ramps up security after deadly Jolo explosions

Robie de Guzman   •   August 26, 2020   •   236

Davao City is on heightened alert following the deadly bombings in Jolo, Sulu that left 14 people dead, and 75 others injured.

In a statement, the city government said Davao is on alert level three as recommended by the local Anti-Terror Council.

Angel Sumagaysay, head of the city’s Public Security and Safety Command Center (PSSCC), said they have coordinated with different security clusters to ramp up security measures.

Barangay officials and their force multipliers have also been instructed to safeguard their areas of responsibility and to immediately report suspicious persons to the Davao City Police Office and Task Force Davao.

The city’s Central 911 Call Center was also instructed to promptly answer any calls that may be vital to local security and relay the information to the city’s security units.

The Task Force Davao earlier said that even if it has not received any terror threat, it has ordered the deployment of additional maritime patrols in coordinating with the military units and officers of critical establishments. Motorcycles will also be prohibited from parking in the vicinity of Davao City Hall and other areas declared as maximum security zones.

Local authorities also urged residents to cooperate as there will be stricter inspections at checkpoints in all entry points of the city.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte likewise called on residents to remain vigilant as she emphasized their role in the city’s anti-terror measures.

She said Davao City is no stranger to any acts of terrorism in the city.

In September 2016, the city’s Roxas Night Market was rocked with an explosion which killed 15 people and injured 70 others.

“Kung dili ta magmatngon, maghatag og importance and dili magpakita ug care sa atoang siyudad, mahitabo gyud na diri sa atoa. (If we do not learn to give importance and care for our city, it will happen here),” she said in an interview over the Davao City Disaster Radio on Monday.

To report suspicious persons and activities in their community, residents may contact Task Force Davao hotline numbers Globe: 0917 131 4333, Smart: 0999 227 1111, and Tel. No: (082) 224 0911.

PH security forces foil bomb plot in Jolo, Sulu

Robie de Guzman   •   September 21, 2020

A bomb plot in the capital town of Jolo in Sulu province believed to have been orchestrated by local terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) was foiled by the Philippine security forces, the military said.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said, this is after the elements of the Philippine Coast Guard-Explosive and Ordnance Division (PCG) discovered a baggage that contained an improvised explosive device allegedly planted at the local port on Saturday.

The military added that a PCG patrol team found the abandoned baggage between the office of the Harbor Master and the Maritime Police Office at Jolo port.

A K9 unit deployed to the area confirmed that the baggage contained a bomb.

Operating troops of the 35th Infantry Battalion immediately cordoned off the area while the bomb squad carefully disarmed the explosive which was assembled using two electric blasting caps, a rifle grenade, a spark plug and concrete nails.

“I commend our troops and our partners for the accomplishment. You saved the lives of the innocent people and foiled this terroristic activity of our heartless enemies,” said Brig. Gen. William Gonzales, commander of the anti-terror Joint Task Force Sulu.

AFP Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) chief Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr. also commended the troops.

“This success is a result of the intensified conduct of intelligence operations and the strengthened collaboration with the police and other security agencies, thus preempting the terrorists from executing their terror plan. I commend the troops of the JTF Sulu for a job well done,” he said.

The military said tight security measures remain in place as government troops continue to pursue ASG leader Mundi Sawadjaan who was said to the brains of the twin bomb attacks in Barangay Walled City in Jolo barely a month ago that killed 14 people and injured others. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Val Villaflor)

Davao City to lift liquor ban on September 21

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 14, 2020

The Davao City government is set to lift its liquor ban on September 21 to help business owners and employees in the liquor industry.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte will issue an executive order next week to lift the city’s liquor ban that was imposed in April. Duterte also clarified she is not lifting the liquor ban to accommodate people’s clamor for alcohol.

The Davao mayor also reiterated that beer pubs are still prohibited from operating since it is included in the negative list of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

“We did not lift the liquor ban for you. We lifted the liquor ban for the businesses and for the people who are working in the liquor business,” she said. AAC

Davao City’s Roxas night market to re-open Sept. 12

Robie de Guzman   •   September 11, 2020

The Davao City government announced it is re-opening the Roxas Night Market on September 12, six months after the imposition of community quarantines to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a statement on Thursday, the city government assured the Davao City Police Office (DCPO), Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC), and Task Force Davao including the City Health Office, are ready to implement strict security and health protocols against the transmission of the virus.

DCPO Director, PCol. Kirby John Kraft has reminded the public to follow security measures such as the no-backpack policy, prohibition of bringing non-transparent water containers, and wearing of jackets that are part of the culture of security. 

Also, people going to the Roxas Night Market will undergo facial recognition by lowering the face mask for 3-5 seconds.

“One entrance, one exit policy” will also implemented and market-goers will be subjected to bag inspection and body temperature check at the entry point.

”We also put up a separate cubicle where inspection or search of all females will be conducted. We emphasize that it is for all the women, not only to those who are wearing the hijab to avoid discrimination,” Kraft said.

Roxas Night Market-goers are advised to bring their identification cards for security and contact tracing purposes.

City Health officers and Civil Security Unit (CSU) personnel will be present at the entrance to ensure that appropriate steps for the contact tracing will be enforced, the city government said.

“CCTV cameras were put at the entrances of every section of the Roxas night market in order to take clear images of those entering, as well as their respective ID’s,” said Angel Sumagaysay, the head of PSSCC. 

As part of the health protocols, people must always wear their face mask and face shield except when eating or drinking and observe a two-meter distance from other people. Handwashing stations and footbaths are also in place.

According to Kraft, more than 160 security personnel will be dispatched in the area.

He also called on the public to follow all the security and health protocols for everyone’s safety.

“Hinihingi naming ang kooperasyon po ng bawat dabawenyo at ang kanilang pakikiisa upang maging matagumpay itong atong reopening ng Roxas Night Market (We are asking for everyone’s cooperation for a successful reopening of the Roxas Night Market),” he said.

The Roxas night market is open from 5 p.m to 11 p.m.

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