Southern Storm successful

PNP Chief Bato gives 9.5 rating for simulation exercise

Philippine National Police chief Ronald Dela Rosa rated the conduct of the anti-terrorism and crisis management simulation as 9.5 out of 10, which shows that the security force is well-prepared for any eventuality that might happen in the city.

In an interview yesterday at the sidelines of the launching of the Southern Storm simulation exercise, PNP Chief Dela Rosa, said that “(I rate them) 9.5. I don’t want to give them 10.0 so that they will not just relax in (implementing) the security measures in the city.”

“So far I am satisfied with the SIMEX. The short comings that we have observed in the exercise will be discussed in the critique section after the activity,” Dela Rosa said.

“I am very much satisfied by the performance. It was comprehensive and all possible man-made disasters that can happen in the city were covered, except natural calamity. The response, coordination of all the security forces present in Davao region is very good,” the PNP Chief added.

He was also satisfied (citing the exercise of the BFP XI) with the performance of the Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) XI who did their best in responding to a simulation fire incident, especially in rescuing a victim.

“They really tried their best. So far, I have observed that they are very commendable, and their performance is excellent,” he said.

Dela Rosa also advised the public that should there be another exercise of such kind, they have to be calm, vigilant and cooperative.

“There should be a unity of command, execution and full cooperation coming from the public,” he added.

PNP Director Camilo Pancratius Cascolan, director for operations of the PNP and the project director of the Southern Storm exercise said that the PNP chief directed the conduct of the simulation exercise so the public will know what to do from the Barangay official to the PNP, AFP and other law enforcement personnel.

“(We are working) not only with the interoperability and enhancement of our capabilities but also for us to know our weaknesses and to use our strength which is the purpose of the SIMEX,” he added.

Meanwhile, Dela Rosa said that hopefully next month they could conduct the same simulation exercise in Metro Manila, particularly at the National Capital region (NCR).

“We just first conducted in Davao because we all know the threat in the key cities in Mindanao until now the ISIS-Maute terrorists group. They really want to retaliate from their setback after the Marawi siege and we have been receiving reports that they are now recruiting.

In our assessment, they can’t do another Marawi City siege but still we have to prepare and prevent that no siege will happen.” he further added.

In a separate interview, City Police Office director Sr. Supt. Alexander Tagum, asked for consideration to the public during the conduct of the exercise yesterday since it has also caused heavy traffic in areas near Abreeza Ayala mall.

“This is a preparation for any eventuality that could happen anywhere in the Philippines,” Tagum said.

The PNP through the Directorate for Operations in partnership with the city government launched an anti- terrorism and crisis management at the Abreeza Ayala Malls.

More or less 10 government agencies and private business sectors participated in the exercise to ensure a whole-of- nation approach in responding to crisis.

The simulation exercises demonstrated the tactical skills of the Special operations unit of the PNP Aviation security group in responding to hijacked aircraft filled with actors as passengers and aircrafts pilots and crew at the Davao International Airport in partnership with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

A simulated scenario on bombing incident, response to active shooter, hostage taking, dragnet operations, lockdown protocol, border security, counter-insurgency operations, and crisis management tested the response protocols of Davao City Police Office with Task Force Davao, Public Safety and Security Command Center, Davao Central 911 and the barangays.

The exercise also showcased the maritime interdiction operation at the Davao gulf by the Philippine Coast guard, Philppine Navy, Airforce and the PNP Maritime group.

The activity is also part of the new PNP Operational-Strategy-Enhanced Managing Police Operations (E-MPO) launched by the Directorate for Operations at early part of 2017 to meet the challenges of the present time advocating shared responsibility with the community and stakeholders in fighting criminality and terrorism.

The Southern Storm will be cascaded to all police regional offices down to police stations nationwide as part of the PNP’s continuing effort working with the community in addressing the threats to peace and security in the country.