DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte thumbed down anew the use of drones to monitor possible “terror attack” in the metropolis.
“Drones are useless. It’s a waste of time,” Duterte said during the Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa show Sunday morning.
“Dili na magamit. Usahay musakay lang na sila ug sakyanan, a private vehicle. Dili na sila mailhan. Usually pag gwapo ang auto, we also assume nga dato ni ug dili terorista (That’s useless. These terrorists just ride private vehicles and then they are hard to track down. Usually, those in nice-looking vehicles are not checked),” he said.
He said terrorism is a different thing.
“Ang terrorism is just a sub rosa. Secreto ni sila. Mga tulo, upat ka tao pero ang damage na iyang ma inflict sa isa ka syudad pareha nato mas dako (Terrorism is done in secret. They come in small groups, just three or four people, but the damage they can inflict is very big),” he said.
“Dili na sila mag marcha diri na by platoon, by companies. Usa, duha tulo, musekreto lang na (They will not be marching in by the platoon of companies. There can be just one, two, three… all done in secret). That’s why it’s really very hard to fight terrorism,” he added.
Task Force Davao (TFD) Commander Colonel Alberto Macairog revealed it has acquired drones for anti-terrorism operations within the city.
The drones will also be used for disaster and emergency response operations, he added.
Macairog said Duterte has knowledge about the arrival of the drones here from the Army headquarters in Manila.
He also clarified that these drones did not come from the United States government and that the US is not in any way involved in their drone operations.
He said their drones are primarily for surveillance.
Duterte earlier said he will not allow any infrastructure in the city, even the old airport here, to host United States (US) drones even if requested to.
Macairog said the drones will not be used for counterinsurgency.
“We will not use this against the people in Davao City, not even against those who have different ideologies or religious beliefs and those who want to overthrow the government,” he said.
Meanwhile, Bayan secretary-general Sheena Duazo said the “raw and unverified terror threat” in Davao City could be “a prelude to establish US military facilities, including drone operations as contained in the recently signed Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).”
“The threat could be staged to justify the implementation of EDCA. We recall the 2002 hotel bomb incident involving suspected US-Central Intelligence Agency operative Michael Meiring, US intelligence could be conditioning this scenario again,” she said.