City on red alert after Isulan blast

Authorities yesterday initiated a lockdown after Tuesday’s bomb blast in Isulan town, Sultan Kudarat that killed two and sent 35 others to the emergency room.

“We are anticipating the spillover of the terroristic activities of the armed group but nonetheless we are prepared,” Chief Insp. Milgrace Driz, the spokesperson of Police Regional Office XI, said in yesterday’s AFP-PNP press briefing at Royal Mandaya hotel.

Driz said the Davao Police Regional Office initiated a regional law enforcement coordinating committee conference to reiterate the security measures. She said that Davao City is always a prime target.

“The level of threat is always changing so we are already preparing for this kind of incident, and that is why simulation exercises are being conducted with other law enforcement agencies,” she explained.
Chief Supt. Marcelo Morales has already ordered all units, down to the station level, to always be on alert.

“Their stations should always be prepared for any untoward incident so we are preparing everything to ensure that Davaoenos are safe,” she further said.

Sr. Insp. Ma. Theresita Gaspan, the spokesperson of Davao City Police Office (DCPO), said they have been beefing up their security measures since Martial Law was declared and extended.

“We have been intensifying the target-hardening (measures) and intelligence monitoring operation,” Gaspan said.

She added that random frisking and locking down the checkpoints, as well as random checks on motorcycles, are just among their security measures to prevent a spillover of the Isulan bombing.

The conduct of Oplan Kalinaw also continues and strengthens in order to monitor those unknown individuals who will enter the city.

On the other hand Capt. Jerry Lamosao, the spokesperson of 10th Infantry Division, said there’s no letup in their intelligence operations and they are in constant coordination with their PNP counterparts and other law enforcement agencies to secure Davao City.

The report given by Capt. Arvin John Encinas, the spokesperson of 6th Infantry Division, said that among the wounded where two soldiers of the 33rd Infantry Battalion. The IED exploded in front of J and H Marketing at the national highway in Barangay Kalawag 3, Isulan, Sultan Kudarat at around 8:34 p.m on Tuesday.

According to the report, the IED was placed near a parked motorcycle. It exploded as the KM450 military truck was passing by. He said had it not been for the military truck, more people would have been hit by shrapnel.

No lowering of guard: mayor

Meanwhile, Mayor Sara Duterte said that the city has not lowered its guard after the bombing incident at the Roxas night market two years ago.

“And with the bombing incident in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat, all the more that our security forces will be vigilant,” said the mayor in a statement.

The 2016 bombing incident which killed 15 people and wounded 68 others, will be commemorated for its second year this Sunday.

Meanwhile, the mayor also called the public to be cautious.

“I am asking the public to cooperate with our security measures. There are random checkpoints and some other measures that the Davao City Police Office and Task Forces Davao are doing. I’d like to solicit everybody’s cooperation on this,” she said.

By Rhoda Grace B. Saron and Julianne A. Suarez

Posted in HEADLINES