How cities, provinces are tightening security after Davao blast
MANILA, Philippines – Several cities and provinces have gone on full alert in the past few days in the aftermath of an explosion at the Davao City night market that killed at least 14 people and injured dozens on September 2.
Local officials and police forces in various parts of the country have responded to Proclamation Number 55 – "Declaring a state of national emergency on account of lawless violence in Mindanao" – which President Rodrigo Duterte signed on September 4. (READ: State of nat'l emergency: More police, military in malls, train stations)
Rappler lists here the localities where authorities have added police patrols, set up checkpoints, and increased security measures.
The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), under director Chief Superintendent Oscar Albayalde, has intensified the 24-hour monitoring of its Special Reaction Unit (SRU), which includes the SWAT, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, and K-9 units.
They have set up check points, that cops – augmented by the Armed Forces of the Philippines – are helping man. SRU teams are inspecting schools and informing teachers and students about managing bomb threats, and reminding them of the implications and consequences of spreading bomb jokes, according to an NCRPO press release.
Covert operatives of the NCRPO are also deployed in transport terminals, while air and sea ports, business centers, churches, vital installations, and other places of convergence are also regularly inspected.
The public may contact Metro Manila police through these hotlines:
- NCRPO 838-3203; text 0917-708-1135 or 0917-856-1040; Twitter: @ncrporeact; Facebook page: NCRPOReact
- Northern Police District 285-2396 / 285-2838; text 0917-847-5757 / 0905-454-2547 / 0916-558-2419
- Eastern Police District 641-0171 / 641-0877; text 0915-888-8181 / 0999-901-8181 / 0917-728-3790
- Manila Police District 523-1367 / 523-3378; text 0919-995-0976 / 0917-899-2092
- Southern Police District 519-5525 / 519-8644; text 0908-377-0025
- Quezon City Police District 925-8417 / 0917-840-3925; text 0995-645-1999 / 0919-496-7833
City of Manila
Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada has directed the 4,500-strong Manila Police District (MPD), under Director Joel Coronel, to conduct 24-hour tight watch on public places in Manila.
Places to be watched include stations of the Light Rail Transit-1, hospitals, schools, shopping malls, marketplaces, bus terminals, ports, and places of worship.
Estrada recalled that when he was president of the Philippines, the so-called Rizal Day bombings happened – 5 bombs were simultaneously set off around Metro Manila on December 30, 2000, killing at least 22 people. Two of the bombs went off at Plaza Ferguson in Malate and inside an LRT coach at the Blumentritt station in Manila.
Boracay Island, Antique
The police community relations chief of the Boracay Tourist Assistance Center (BTAC), Senior Police Officer 1 Christopher Mendoza, said 85 police officers have been tasked to secure barangays Yapak, Balabag, and Manoc-Manoc.
Cops have also been deployed to Cagban port, Yapak (Puka) Beach, and Ilig-Iligan Beach.
The Aklan Provincial Public Safety Company has set up a detachment at Boracay Ati community village in Sitio Lugutan, Barangay Manoc-Manoc.
The Philippine National Police Maritime Group, Philippine Army, and Philippine Coast Guard units on Boracay Island and the Boracay Action Group are also on full alert.
Some 1.24 million tourists have stayed in Boracay from January to August this year.
Central Visayas and Cebu
Central Visayas Police Regional Director Noli Taliño said more police patrols have been deployed to “places of convergence like malls, terminals, airports, and seaports.”
He has ordered more checkpoints to be set up across the region.
In Cebu City, Deputy Director Superintendent Artemio Ricabo told the public to stay home in the meantime if they have no “pressing matters to attend to,” and urged them to “report new faces who are foreign-speaking and not in our dialect.”
The Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) is under heightened alert.
Mandaue City is strictly implementing a curfew for minors, between 11 pm and 4 am.
Eastern Visayas and Tacloban City
Police Chief Inspector Ma. Bella Rentuaya, spokesperson of the PNP in Eastern Visayas, said more cops have been deployed in places of convergence, such as terminals and airports.
Vital installations and camps are further secured, while more checkpoints are being set up.
In Tacloban City, policemen have been deployed to airports, transit hubs, and other crowded areas.
Tacloban’s police director, Superintendent Rolando Bade Jr, urged bus personnel and commuters to be on the lookout for people with suspicious behavior and for unattended packages.
The public can contact the regional police through:
- Facebook Page “Pulis ha RehiyonOtos”
- Text hotline 09173114794 or 09478907155
Regional police spokesperson Superintendent Surki Sereñas said checkpoints had been set up across northern Mindanao.
Chief Superintendent Constantino, regional police director, said the PNP is in “constant coordination with AFP and other government agencies” in monitoring security threats after the Davao blast.
“The public is advised to remain calm but extra vigilant for suspicious persons and packages,” he said. – with reports from Boy Ryan Zabal, Ryan Macasero, Jazmin Bonifacio, Bobby Lagsa/Rappler.com
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