MANILA, Philippines – After back-to-back bombings in key areas in Mindanao, the Philippine National Police (PNP) received anti-bomb equipment from the government of Japan.
The Japanese government on Tuesday, February 12, handed over 6 bomb suits, 6 ballistic shields, 440 bulletproof vests, and 440 ballistic helmets to the PNP during a ceremony at Camp Crame.
The turnover was led by Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda, while police chief Director General Oscar Albayalde represented the PNP.
Albayalde said the bomb suits and ballistic shields will be given to PNP Explosive and Ordnance Detection (EOD) units across the country. The helmets, meanwhile, will be issued to the PNP’s anti-terrorism units such as the elite Special Action Force.
Japan’s donation comes weeks after areas in Mindanao were hit with 2 major bombings.
On January 27, twin blasts at the Jolo, Sulu cathedral killed at least 23 and wounded over 100. Days later, on January 30, a grenade was thrown inside a Zamboanga City mosque where traveling preachers were resting, leaving 2 dead and 4 injured.
More bombings occurred in 2018, allegedly orchestrated by local terror groups based in Mindanao.
“All these donated equipment will certainly go a long way in enhancing police capability in addressing security issues and threats to public safety,” Albayalde said.