Alert level highest despite no threat

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

THOUGH there is no definite threat monitored here, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte told the police and military to treat the supposed terror threat on a scale of 1 to 10, with ten being the highest, in a full-scale.

"Whether the threat is one, basta sa panahon that you’re at it already, treat it in a scale of 10, para hindi talaga tayo maisahan. The problem there is we never know what will happen next. Don't let your guards down," Duterte told the authorities.

Duterte called on Tuesday evening for command conference with the Davao City Police Office and its 12 police station commanders, Task Force Davao (TFD), Public Safety Command Center, and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, among other government agencies, to check the peace and order situation here.


"Marami tayong concerns ngayon especially that we are celebrating the Kadayawan [sa Dabaw Festival]. At least we are not notified of any threats, wala naman advise from the authorities, which means to say everybody is comfortable right now. But ayaw mo pag kompyansa," Duterte said.

The city mayor reminded the public to abide by the security measures and local policies enforced by city government and authorities. He also advised the public to be more cautious may it be inside and outside their house.

"Ang bantayan natin ditto ngayon itong salisi. There is a group here operating – itong mga salisi and akyat bahay na medyo marami na ang namatay. Ayaw ko sa akyatbahay kasi pag once nakapasokyan, deretso hold-up, and I know a few naa yaw magreklamo kasi na rape pati ang asawa at anak nila," Duterte said.

The authorities, on the other hand, assured that the security measures are already in place as thousands of spectators, mainly foreign and local tourists, are expected to flock Davao City for the 29th Kadayawan sa Dabaw Festival.

At least 3,000 security forces from Davao City Police Office (DCPO), Task Force Davao (TFD), Central-911, Davao City Public Safety Command Center, Traffic Group, and other government agencies, including the civilian volunteers or force multipliers, will be deployed during the festival.

DCPO Operations head Chief Inspector Alfredo Baluran, in an earlier interview, said there are more than 1,000 personnel from DCPO and Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 will be deployed, of which most of them were assigned to do foot and mobile patrols, random checkpoints, and other integrated patrol systems.

He said all entrance and exit points to the city are sealed, and that only after a thorough inspection that motorists will be allowed to proceed to its destinations. He also said that the authorities are still in full alert, and have intensified their intelligence monitoring and target hardening.

The police also reiterated the "no backpack rule" in any Kadayawan events with a large number of people. Cameramen, photo hobbyists, media, and parents of the participants in various activities can seek a card number or ask instruction from the police authorities in the activity areas on the matter.

TF Davao commander Colonel Macairog Alberto, on the other hand, said their unit had deployed around 500 troops to various areas in the city to also conduct foot and mobile patrols and random checkpoints. He added that the Philippine Army's 10th Infantry Division have also deployed additional troops to TFD.

Duterte also welcomed the members of the New People's Army (NPA) to join the celebration of the Kadayawan, as long as they will not carry their firearms with them. He said: Basta dili lang mag create ug samok, they're very much welcome. As to those who have pending cases, I will leave that matter to the police and military.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 14, 2014.

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