- Posted June 29, 2014 by
DAVAO CITY, Philippines
Roxas, Duterte meets over terror threat
Secretary Mar Roxas II of the Interior and Local Government met with Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte Sunday to discuss the terror threat in the city and map out plan to prevent it from happening.
Roxas and Duterte had a close-door meeting for almost an hour before facing the media at the Marco Polo Hotel for a press conference. Also in the meeting were Police Regional Office 11 director Chief Supt. Wendy Rosario and Davao City Police Office director Sr. Supt. Vicente Danao.
At the press conference, the secretary expressed satisfaction on the security measures being implemented in Davao City. He revealed that about 2,000 police, military and barangay tanods are being mobilized to preempt any terror plot.
Roxas also urged the continued vigilance and cooperation of the Dabawenyos in ensuring the safety and security of the people. He said that with the 1.5 million residents of the city helping out, Davao City would be almost impossible to be penetrated by the terrorists.
Though refusing to divulge the source of the terror threat, Sec. Roxas said that the intelligence they got came from various sources among them from Region 12 or Central Mindanao.
Central Mindanao is a known stronghold of Muslim extremist group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters that has ties with the international terror group Jemaah Islamiyah.
Mayor Duterte meanwhile said that the terror threat is not that high though. In a scale of 1-10, the mayor said the present terror threat is only 3. He however clarified that no matter how high or low the threat is, the government would always respond to such at a maximum level.
Duterte said that if need be, the security measures that will be implemented in the city would be reminiscent of the martial law years.
President Benigno Simeon Aquino III called up Duterte last Thursday informing him on the terror threat and asked the mayor not to take it lightly. Duterte readily called for a command conference that same day and instructed the police and the military to beef up the security not just in the city but the entire region as well.
On Friday, Duterte ordered a ban on the entry of long firearms in the city. The last time Duterte banned long firearms in Davao City was in 2008.
The threat reportedly came following the end of the Joint Special Operations Task Force Philippines (JSOTF-P), a United States anti-terror program established 13 years ago, immediately after the 9/11 terror attack.
Under JSOTF-P, elite American soldiers were deployed in the Philippines to track down Muslim militants with links to Al-Qaeda, including Abu Sayyaf and the Jemaah Islamiyah.
Duterte said intelligence reports tell of possible terror attacks in Kidapawan City, Koronadal City, Cagayan de Oro City, and/or Davao City.
North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza meanwhile urged all of her constituents to cooperate in the security effort in ensuring the safety of the public from terrorist threat.
“Dapat cooperate and alertado lahat. Peace and order is everybody’s business, not just our tanod, police, military, people in the barangays must work closely with their barangy officials,” said Mendoza.
The governor rued how some people wanted to harm others but still express hope that they be enlightened.
“Di pwede walang pakialam attitude. Life is precious. Unfortunately, there are some who don’t care about life anymore. We can only offer our prayers for them to get enlightenment and start living peacefully and responsibly,” she said.
North Cotabato is in Central Mindanao, a known stronghold of the Muslim extremist group Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), with Kidapawan City having its share of terror activities in the past.