Tighter security for 'Kadayawan'

Policemen are all over checking on places where people converge as alert status for law enforcers is set at high for the Kadayawan Festival. (Seth Delos Reyes)

SECURITY forces here have set to lockdown Davao City a week before the 29th Kadayawan sa Dabaw Festival kicks off on August 11.

Chief Inspector Alfredo Baluran, chief of the Davao City Police Office's (DCPO) Operation, said this year's security measures will be similar to that of last year.

"Kanunay man ng atong security measures for the city. It's just that our security measures, especially for Kadayawan, are very tight. In fact, we're going to lockdown the city a week before the festivity will start. Expect a stricter implementation of the security measures for everyone's sake," Baluran said.

"All entrance and exit points to the city are sealed. Only after thorough inspections that motorist will be will be allowed to proceed to its destinations. In fact, nakahanda naman kami. We're just waiting for the exact schedule of the Kadayawan activities," he added.

Baluran said there are more than 1,000 police personnel from DCPO to be deployed during the festivity, of which most of them are assigned to conduct foot and mobile patrols, random checkpoints, and other integrated patrol systems.

He also said that aside from their estimated 1,000 personnel, the Police Regional Office (PRO-Davao) will also augment 150 personnel to DCPO in line with its request. Hundreds of men from Public Safety Command Center, Traffic Group, Central 911, including the civilian volunteers, etc. will also be deployed, he added.

When asked about the no backpack rule, Baluran clarified that cameramen, photo hobbyists, media, and parents of the participants in various activities can seek a card number from police station on the event, or ask instructions from the authorities assigned in the activity areas on the matter.

"Maglalagay rin kami ng tagging points meron kaming mga police personnel naka assign dyan. Reminding you na bawal ang backpacks and any sling bags na malalaki in the activity area. Also, kindly follow the no-smoking policy and liquor ban," Baluran said.

Baluran said the authorities are still in full alert status, and have intensified their intelligence monitoring and target hardening, following earlier reports on terror threats in Mindanao.

Task Force Davao (TFD) commander Colonel Macairog Alberto, in an earlier interview with Sun.Star Davao, said their unit will deploy around 300 troops during the Kadayawan.

He added that they will also ask for additional troops from the Army's 10th Infantry Division headquarters.
Alberto assured that their troops together with the DCPO will continue coordinating their operations to make sure that every area here in the city will be safe to everybody, especially visitors.
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