Duterte to bizmen: Provide security or face closure-A A +A
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
DAVAO CITY -- In the wake of the two bomb explosions inside the cinemas of two major shopping malls in this city Monday night, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte warned that he will order the closure of business establishments that fail to provide "adequate security."
"They must invest. They must provide. They must search," the visibly-irked Duterte told reporters in a press briefing before the hastily-called command conference with local authorities early Tuesday.
Duterte said there is a need for all business establishments, especially movie houses, to impose stricter security measures to secure moviegoers at all times and to prevent incidents just like what happened on Monday evening when a bomb exploded inside Cinema 1 of SM City Davao and Cinema 5 of Gaisano Mall of Davao (GMall).
No casualty was reported except for five moviegoers at GMall cinema who were brought to the hospital after complaining of ringing in their ears due to the loud blast. They were released shortly thereafter.
The five victims were identified as Diliah Montenegro, 19; Margie Sarita Gildes, 19; Jeziel Janison, 17; Merry Apple Tacyawan, 20, all residents of Pioneer Drive; and Gian Albarico of Mintal in Davao City.
"They are supposed to install high definition CCTV (closed-circuit television) cameras. They have to inspect the contents of bags, everything," Duterte said.
He added: "They have to invest. Pag hindi nila ginawa yan (If they will not comply), and the police and (Ret. Col. Francisco) Villaroman will say they are not providing adequate security, I will close them. I will simply close the moviehouses immediately. I will order for the revocation of the permits."
He said operators of movie houses are responsible for the security of the moviegoers and not the City Government.
"It is a matter of security and public interest," the city mayor said, adding that should malls fail to comply with stricter security measures, he will be forced to file cases.
"Do not wait for us to provide security. Bakit nakalusot? Because nagtitipid sila. If they want training, I will provide. I would be happy to sponsor for the training," Duterte said.
He said there is a need for the City Government to review the protocols of security agencies employed by the shopping malls.
Authorities have yet to reveal the identity of groups or individuals involved in the bombing incident as of Tuesday afternoon, but Duterte told them not to rush the investigation.
He said they are taking the situation seriously but he still cannot speculate on whether the main motive of the perpetrators is terrorism, adding that, so far, it's "purely a guessing game."
"It appears to be a statement. May gustong sabihin ang tao, whether it's a political statement or statement of hatred. Hindi pa namin malaman ngayon kung ano talaga, we are assessing. So we cannot answer questions. Let us see what develops after the investigation," Duterte said.
"I don't want to take shortcuts. I do not want to commit error. Let us see what develops," he added.
Meanwhile, City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte said he appeals for the Dabawenyos to be "more vigilant."
"Pasalamat ta sa karon nga walay namatay. Kung kinsa man ang nay impormasyon, hinaot nga mutabang ta sa kapulisan (We are fortunate that there's no casualty. Whoever has any information regarding the incident, let us cooperate with our police authorities)," the vice mayor said during his Pulong-pulong ni Pulong program Tuesday morning.
He said he is proposing a resolution requiring all minors to observe 10 p.m. curfew.
"Gusto nako tanan bata naa na sa balay by 10 p.m. Para makatulog ug tarung ang mga ginikanan kay wala ta kabalo unsay sunod ani (I want all minors to be at home by 10 p.m. This, in order for the parents to be assured of the safety of their children because we never know what happens next)," the younger Duterte said.
Rolando Abdul Aziz Olamit, Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)-Davao chair, rushed to Gaisano Mall of Davao on Monday night after learning of the explosion.
He said the explosion here has nothing to do with the ongoing Zamboanga City crisis involving MNLF members and military troops.
“I am here in Davao City to support the peace and order of the city,” Olamit told reporters.
He said the MNLF-Davao has long been committed to Mayor Duterte that they will protect the city from any chaos and that they will not get in the trouble.
It can be recalled that the city mayor has spoken with MNLF founder Nur Misuari the day after the standoff in Zamboanga City started.
He said Misuari assured him that there was no order to launch attacks in Davao City.
Major General Ariel Bernardo, commander of the Army's 10th Infantry Division, on the other hand, said his command will immediately conduct a target hardening operation and investigations to identify those behind the incident.
Bernardo said he will roam around his area of responsibility to check the other areas in Mindanao and they would continuously coordinate with the police authorities in terms of the security measures.
"Hindi pwede yung heightened alert lang. we have to do some pro-active measures aside from double manning. I will be roaming around to check other areas. I also ordered the battalion commanders to maximize visibility and intensify its security measures in their area," Bernardo said.
Colonel Casiano Monilla, TFD commander, added that they would join in the investigation of the Soco and the Explosive Ordnance Division. He said they'll also conduct bomb awareness not only to hotels and other establishments but also with the force multipliers.
"Our checkpoint naman ngayon is continuing. We are optimizing the effectiveness. It is an ongoing project of the Task Force and until now marami pang improvement na kaliang gawin. But rest assured we are going to conduct more visibility in the city," Monilla said. (With reports from ICT/Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 18, 2013.