WITH the 32nd Kadayawan sa Dabaw 2017 Festival drawing near, combined law enforcement agencies conducted an Inter-Agency Maritime Exercise at Davao Gulf fronting the Naval Station Felix Apolinario, Panacan, Davao City, on Tuesday morning, August 8, to be prepared against maritime threats.
Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom) commander Lieutenant General Rey Leonardo Guerrero said in an interview Tuesday that the exercise aims to test the level of preparedness of each maritime force for eventualities that may arise in their area of responsibility especially with the city's upcoming festival.
"Kasama ito sa security preparations natin for Kadayawan at ang habol naman natin dito is to check ‘yong readiness and preparedness natin (It is included in our security operations for Kadayawan and we will also check our readiness and preparedness) and at the same time yong interoperability ng mga agencies (the interoperability of the agencies) involved in maritime security," Guerrero said.
Guerrero added that so far, based on their intelligence monitoring, there are no direct threats on the city, however, they are not discounting the fact that the city remains to be the target of lawless armed groups.
"Wala pang any information of any threat dito sa Davao City (There are no information of any threat in Davao City)," he noted.
During the activity, the security forces performed several scenarios showing the communications interoperability of the troopers and maritime security forces in performing their mission.
The activity was participated by Eastmincom, which is the lead agency, Coast Guard District of South Eastern Mindanao; Police Regional Office-Davao Region, Philippine National Police, Davao Central 911; Davao City Police Office; Task Force Davao of Joint Task Force Haribon; Tactical Operation Group-Davao Region, Philippine Air Force and the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao.
Eastmincom said in a statement that it is currently "pursuing the operationalization of an inter-agency border security council to improve border crossing security and prevent terrorist and other transnational crime syndicates from using our southern backdoor as entry point."
"The Inter-Agency Border Security Council is also envisioned to be a venue for member agencies in reporting and assessing border security issues and recommending appropriate measures to be undertaken. It also defines the roles and tasks of each member agency in the collective effort of securing the border and the territorial waters," the statement read.
Meanwhile, authorities vowed to remain alert and watchful for any threat posed by terrorist group and continue with their effort to maintain the peace and order in the city amid the martial law.