Metro Manila police beef up security after deadly Jolo bombings

Robie de Guzman   •   August 25, 2020   •   377

MANILA, Philippines – The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has been placed under heightened alert following the deadly explosions in Jolo, Sulu, its chief Police Major General Debold Sinas said Tuesday.

In a press briefing, Sinas said they have also intensified their intelligence gathering and coordination with their counterparts in the Mindanao region to monitor the entry to Metro Manila of anyone possibly involved in the Jolo bombings.

“We also coordinating with our counterparts in ProArm lalo na sa Jolo area at sa Region 9, and let’s go back to our dialogue to our Muslim brothers and sisters na andito sa NCR so that they can help us prevent the same incident,” he said.

He also said that police officers have also strengthened their patrol operations in establishments such as train stations, malls, grocery stores, terminals, places of worship and other places of convergence.

“Sa ngayon pinaigting namin EOD K9 natin. Dati tig-iisang aso lang bawat distrito, ngayon tig-dalawang aso araw araw na bawat distrito,” he said.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Archie Gamboa has condemned the deadly blast allegedly perpetrated by the Abu Sayyaf Group.

Monday’s twin blasts at Barangay Walled City in Jolo killed 14 people – seven soldiers, one policeman and six civilians – and injured 75 others.

The first explosion occurred just before noon beside Paradise Food Shop while the second blast transpired an hour later about 100 meters away from the first blast site.

Gamboa said he has directed the Police Regional Office-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region to beef-up police checkpoints in the region as well as police visibility as they intensify their intelligence gathering and coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines for the pursuit operations of those behind the attack.

The PNP chief also urged the public to remain vigilant and to report to authorities any suspicious events or individuals for immediate action. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

NCR mayors, medical experts back Duterte decision on GCQ status

Robie de Guzman   •   February 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Mayors in the National Capital Region (NCR) give all out support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to keep the region under general community quarantine (GCQ) classification unless the COVID-19 vaccination program has been rolled out, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said Tuesday.

MMDA chairman Benhur Abalos said local chief executives in the NCR would ‘rally behind’ the president even if most of them have voted in favor of the proposal to put the region under modified GCQ in March to help revive the country’s economy.

“As what we have always emphasized, the Metro Manila mayors would always defer to the wisdom and judgement of the President,” Abalos said in a statement.

“We are one with him, and would exert all efforts and rally behind him in combating this COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) earlier recommended the shift to MGCQ to reopen the economy that has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

In separate statements, NCR mayors welcomed Duterte’s decision on the matter as they vowed to implement stricter health protocols to curb the spread of the viral disease.

“I am grateful to President Rodrigo Duterte for declaring that Metro Manila remain under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) until the vaccines against COVID-19 are rolled out and made available to Filipinos,” San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora said.

“We’ve already anticipated what to do, ramping up contact tracing, testing and early detection,” Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said.

Medical experts from the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, for their part, said that the shift to MGCQ will only be possible if the public will religiously follow the minimum health protocols set by the government.

“Based on previous experience I know that we know that we are not good in self-regulation, is that gonna change once we move into MGCQ? I think that’s the question every Filipino should answer,” Dr. Kathryn Roa said.

“I know that lockdown is hard but I just feel like the minute that we try to relax the lockdown or the quarantine it will somehow translate to people thinking that everything is well and I think they will start not minding wearing the mask, not minding wearing the shield, the physical distancing,” Dr. Faith Villanue said.

They also urged the public not to squander the efforts being put in to fight the pandemic and to continue observing protocols to stop the spread of coronavirus. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Janice Ingente)

NCRPO in favor of placing Metro Manila under MGCQ

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said it is in favor of relaxing the quarantine classification in Metro Manila from General Community Quarantine (GCQ) to Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).

According to NCRPO Director PMGen. Vicente Danao Jr., this is to ease the load of police officers who have been monitoring quarantine controlled points for almost one year.

It could be a very very welcome development for all of us at least. Siguro nakikita ng taas na nako-kontrol na natin ang virus. Hopefully, as long as hindi po natin maba-violate ang basic health protocols (Maybe the higher-ups are seeing we are controlling the virus. Hopefully, as long as we do not violate the basic health protocols),” he said.

Aside from this, easing the quarantine classification can also help them in focusing more on their anti-illegal drugs, anti-criminality, and anti-terrorism campaign.

Meanwhile, Danao also reiterated that the public should still follow the minimum health and safety protocols.

“Let us be responsible enough to really, follow the basic like wearing a facemask, face shield, social distancing,” he said. -AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

DA confirms arrival of 2,000 hogs from South Cotabato firm at Vitas Port, Manila

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Agriculture (DA) has confirmed the arrival of 2,000 hogs from a South Cotabato firm at the Vitas Port, Pier 18, in Tondo, Manila on Wednesday (February 17).

DA Secretary William Dar said this is part of the sustained efforts of the agriculture department to augment the tight supply of pork and eventually lower the prices of pork in Metro Manila.

He also reported that several markets already adjusted their prices within the price ceiling imposed by the national government.

“We have monitored the situation from February 8 up until now, and the average daily volume of hogs that have reached Metro Manila is 4,560 heads, compared to 4,000 hogs daily. We have more than enough hogs,” he said.

Dar said, South Cotabato firm Biotech Farms volunteered to support and commit to deliver thousands of live hogs regularly to be sold in various Metro Manila public markets.

The DA continues to coordinate with local government units (LGUs) in the mobilization and marketing of pork supply, and provides consumers with reasonably-priced pork. -AAC

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