‘No coordination’ in 2013 Oro bombing response

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Friday, July 25, 2014


AS the city remembers the ugly bombing of a bar cum bistro in a mall complex that will turn a year this Saturday, July 26, the head of the City Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) said there was no proper management from the responding agencies in the incident that killed six people and injured 46 others.

“When I assumed office in July of last year, I saw there was no coordination among the agencies. A particular agency had no idea what to do, how to respond and if they were allowed to get into the scene immediately,” CDRRMO chief Mario Verner Monsanto said Wednesday, July 23.

On July 26, 2013, people who were having fun in some establishments at Rosario Arcade of Lim Ket Kai mall on a Friday night met a tragic weekend after a bomb exploded right outside Kyla’s Bistro. The impact of the explosion ripped through Kyla’s and adjoining bars and restaurants.

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In line with July’s National Disaster Consciousness Month, CDRRMO conducted a bomb drill. Its objective was to identify which of the participating agencies should respond and also practice and refresh them the procedures they need to do in case a bomb goes off.

“It is to gauge how they respond in a bomb explosion,” Office of Civil Defense-10 (OCD-10) trainer Floy Francisco said.

The scenario

CDRRMO decided to stage a bomb explosion scenario where 20 bystanders acted as casualties of an explosion from a grenade that was thrown at them.

Participating agencies such as Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) and other units like Scene of the Crime Operatives (Soco), Divisoria police precinct, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Philippine Red Cross-10 (PRC-10), Oro Rescue, CDRRMO, and OCD-10 performed what they needed to do when such incident would happen.

Cocpo was tasked to lead the responding agencies being the highest in the hierarchy since their main role is implement law enforcement whenever bombing takes place.

Superintendent Dexter Paje, Cocpo police community relations officer, said when such situation happens, people should call the police immediately.

“Like here, [citing the bomb drill], bystanders called (Divisoria) Police Station 1 as the explosion happened within their parameters. They then [responded] verified the report if it was true or not. If it’s true, they cordoned the area to avoid people getting involved because their might be remnants of possible explosive materials,” Paje said.

Injured people should be removed from the scene.

“Cocpo will call [other] units like the Canine Unit, Soco, BFP, PRC [and others] for tasking to be accomplished immediately,” he said.

Simulation

Monsanto said the simulation was held to address the lack of management from last year’s bombing.

“This is the first time that we had this kind of drill. Of course, now, we saw which agency should head the operations, which agency should do the pulling out of bodies, which agency should detonate the bomb, which agency should monitor […] that is the main purpose of this. We do not want to experience another bombing here in the city but at least we know what to do in case it will happen again which I am praying it would not,” Monsanto said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 25, 2014.

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