Davao City on full alert-A A +A
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
THE city is on a full-alert status following the bus explosion along Edsa near Buendia Avenue in Makati City, Tuesday afternoon.
Senior Supt. Rene O. Aspera, chief of Davao City Police Office (DCPO), said that soon after news broke out about the bomb, the DCPO along with Task Force Davao (TFD) reconstituted the Oplan Laban Terorismo and their joint personnel were immediately deployed in crowded places to monitor security.
"I immediately declared a full-alert status. We deployed all our available personnel in public areas and we conducted checkpoints," Aspera said.
A man carrying three home-made guns in his bag was even caught in one of the checkpoints, Aspera said.
He added that on normal days, they are just on alert, but bombing incidents automatically raises the alert level a notch higher.
TFD Commander Rey Leandro Guerrero said the city is in a yellow alert status, which means that authorities are on their toes but the public need not panic.
Aspera also called on the public to be vigilant as terror attacks can be thwarted best by people who are always on alert for something unusual in their surroundings.
"Of course, we cannot ensure that we are hundred percent secured. But the community must be vigilant so we could prevent or avoid these incidents," Aspera said.
Passengers will have to undergo more thorough inspection as well at the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal (DCOTT).
Maribeth Lumactod, administrative section head of the DCOTT said that they are hoping no such bombing will occur in any of the buses that ply the Davao route, but that they cannot take any chances.
"They must understand that if they are in a hurry, we advise them to come early since we will have to inspect their baggage thoroughly," Lumactod said.
There are around 787 buses coming in and out of the terminal each day to and from different destinations in the country.
Lumactod also encourages buses to pick up passengers only inside designated areas like terminals since these are where there are baggage checks. (Ivy C. Tejano with JOP)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 27, 2011.