DEPARTMENT of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Jesus Hinlo Jr. appealed to Negrenses to cooperate with the police checkpoint operations as the entire country is under the state of lawlessness in the wake of bombing in Davao City Friday.

“Major cities like Bacolod are being alerted against terrorism so everyone must help and immediately report to authorities the presence of strangers and suspicious personalities in your respective areas,” Hinlo appealed.

He said the lifting of the state of lawlessness would depend on the assessment of the President of the situation.

Hinlo has taken his oath and received his appointment as DILG Undersecretary on September 2.

He added that Secretary Mike Sueno has been given the go-signal by President Rodrigo Duterte to recruit the barangay-based “Masa-masid” volunteers.

They will help the police and the community in the campaign of the government against criminalities and also promote people’s awareness on federalism, environmental advocacies, and disaster preparedness, Hinlo said.

Hinlo also said that everyone should do his or her share to stop such violence.

“We fully support the President in his declaration of the state of lawlessness. Everyone must be vigilant,” he added.

For his part, Negros Occidental Fifth District Board Member Alain Gatuslao said Duterte’s declaration of state of lawlessness is constitutional.

“It’s valid under Article VII, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution,” Gatuslao, a lawyer, said on Sunday.

He added that he supports the declaration, saying that “there is no suspension of civil and political rights.”

“Whether there is a declaration or not we should be vigilant over abuses."

Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson also expressed support to the declaration of the state of lawlessness.

“If only to assure the Filipinos that government is in control of the situation, the President was right in his decision,” he said.

Violence condemned

For his part, Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. said “the Negrenses and other peace-loving citizens of the country condemn in the strongest possible terms the September 3 bombing in Davao City.”

“Such act of terrorism has no place in our democracy,” he added.

“Our prayers to those who died. May they find eternal rest with our Creator in heaven. Our fervent prayers as well to the families they left behind,” the governor said in a press statement.

He added: “We are behind our national government, the Armed Forces, the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies as they are called to the frontlines to pursue and consequently crush these heartless perpetrators in our midst.”

Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia said in a statement: “We join the nation in mourning the victims of the Davao blast and grieving for the city that had been a model for peace and order for the rest of the local governments in the country.”

Leonardia said that “if the incident bears any lesson for everyone, it is that terrorism can strike anywhere, even the most security conscious of places.”

“We pledge our full and wholehearted support to the measures that President Duterte may undertake to restore law and order in the country,” the mayor added.

Vice Governor Lacson also condemned the terror attack.

“Killing human life is reprehensible. It goes against our universal values as human beings worthy of respect, decency, and dignity,” Lacson said.

“I am very saddened by the damage to and loss of lives in the recent act in Davao. I extend my deepest sympathies to the families of the victims," the vice governor added.

He called on Negrenses to “also pray for enlightenment and wisdom to address our conflicts in ways that affirm life and goodness for all.”

Second District Board Member Salvador Escalante said the Davao bombing was “inhuman.”

“Let's pray for the souls of those who died and for the speedy recovery of the injured,” the board member added. (With reports from MAP)