CHIEF Supt. Noli Taliño, chief of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas, said he is hopeful the selective shutdown of cell sites will be approved for the solemn procession on Saturday and Sinulog grand parade on the following day.
Taliño said the move would help secure the public.
“Lahat tayo dito magsasakripisyo tayo (All of us here will have to sacrifice),” said Taliño, who presided over the final meeting for the Sinulog security plan yesterday afternoon.
Cutting off the communication systems can prevent terrorist bombing by remote control using cellular phones.
Last Tuesday, the police sent their request for signal shutdown along the routes of the procession and Sinulog to National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) 7 Director Jesus Laureno, who forwarded the letter to the head office for final approval.
Taliño said that the police and military will also be affected if the NTC headquarters will grant their request, adding they will have to adjust and use radio as their primary mode of communication.
A military official said their radios are not compatible with the police and they will find other ways to communicate with the law enforcers.
The police, explosives ordnance team from the military, medical personnel and firefighters conducted a bombing simulation exercise at the Plaza Independencia in Cebu City past 10 a.m. yesterday.
They only used hand-held radios.
Senior Supt. Rey Lyndon Lawas, the deputy regional director for operations, said they still need to improve on their response time.
“In our scenario, we assumed that there is no telecommunication signal,” he said.
The official said they will meet today with other government agencies on how they can improve their communication by only using radio.
Seven hours later, the Special Weapons and Tactics team cordoned off a bakery in Barangay Parian, Cebu City, after receiving a report of an abandoned bag.
Cebu City Police Office Director Joel Doria said his personnel failed to find explosives inside the bag.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 12, 2017.
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