Cebu city police raise alert status-A A +A
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
THE Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) is on heightened alert status while violent clashes between government troops and members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) continue in Zamboanga City.
Under this alert status, CCPO Director Noli Romana ordered intelligence units to keep an eye on possible MNLF presence in Cebu City.
Romana said the alert status was declared by Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Danilo Constantino.
Yesterday, the PRO 7 sent at least 130 members of the Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB) 7 to Zamboanga City to beef up government forces there.
The Central Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is also on heightened alert in preparation for possible spillover of attacks in Central Visayas.
Eugene Elizalde, presiding officer of the Police Coordinating and Advisory Council (PCAC) of Cebu City, revealed that two inmates of the Cebu City Jail are members of the MNLF.
He said that although the two are alleged bomb makers, there are no indications they pose a threat on the security at the jail.
Supt. Renato Dugan, spokesperson of PRO 7, said RPSB men were sent to Zamboanga upon the orders of Camp Crame.
The platoon, headed by Supt. Clifford Gairanod, was composed of two company commanders, four platoon leaders and 125 policemen.
Dugan said the policemen, who were mostly police officer 1, have just completed a special counter-insurgency training.
“They are highly skilled and competent in dealing with the situation,” he said, adding that the platoon will stay there for one month.
“If the situation will escalate, we might send another batch,” Dugan said.
PO1 Enrico Jumawas, one of the men, said he is no longer afraid because this is his second time to be deployed as part of augmentation force.
In 2008, Jumawas of Dumanjug, Cebu was sent to Cotabato to help fight MNLF renegades. “It’s part of the hazards of the job,” he said.
During the send-off ceremony, Arsenia Maribao of Barangay Kamputhaw, Cebu City went to PRO 7 to say goodbye to her son PO1 Jason Maribao.
“Nahadlok ko niya pero gisalig nako tanan sa Ginoo (I was afraid for him but I have faith in God),” she said.
An emotional Arsenia told Sun.Star Cebu that the order to send her son to Zamboanga was sudden.
Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo, PRO 7 regional director for administration, said he expects the platoon to be complete when they return to Cebu.
Lt. Jim Alagao, spokesperson of Centcom, yesterday revealed they raised the alert status from normal to heightened as the tension in Zamboanga continues.
In a heightened alert status, he said, no one is allowed to go on leave and all troops are ready for deployment if needed.
Alagao said the status is also related to the commemoration of the Twin Tower bombing in New York, USA on Sept. 11, 2001.
At Cebu City Hall, Elizalde said there is nothing alarming about having two MNLF inmates at the city jail but jail warden Johnson Calub merely informed the City Council of their presence.
Elizalde said the CCPO’s Cebu Intelligence Branch (CIB) is aware of the inmates’ presence.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 11, 2013.