DAVAO TODAY, Philippines — Security measures are being tightened to thwart any threats of terrorism as security forces here placed the city on a heightened alert status amid Martial law.
The Davao City Police Office (DCPO) has heightened the city’s security mechanisms as ordered by Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
DCPO said they have been beefing up the security measures to ensure the safety of the public after the deadly explosion at Mount Carmel Cathedral in Jolo, Sulu last Jan. 27 that killed 21 people and wounded 100 others including the blast in a mosque in Zamboanga City on Wednesday that killed 2 person and left 4 wounded.
DCPO spokesperson Sr. Inspector Maria Theresa Gaspan in Wednesday press conference said the authorities will ban backpacks in churches and other places of worship in the city for security purposes.
“We have already coordinated to all priests, pastors, and churches on the implementation of the ‘No Bag Pack Policy’,” said Gaspan.
She added that “a thorough inspection will be implemented” to churchgoers who will bring with them bag packs.
The public is asked to abide by the new security measures being implemented in churches in the city as it may help the authorities in securing the city against terrorism.
She added that no baggage counter will be provided for those who will bring with them their bagpacks while attending the Mass as it may also add to the responsibility of the police personnel assigned in every area.
“We encourage the churchgoers to just bring with them small pouches or wallet upon going to church,” said Gaspan.
The DCPO will also put up additional personnel inside and outside the church vicinity during mass as well as to implement “one entry and exit points” to monitor all the churchgoers attending the mass.
Gaspan clarified that though they did not monitor any terror threat in the city, the heightened alert status is “needed to further strengthen” the capacity or the police personnel of Davao City against crime and terrorism.
Eastern Mindanao Command spokesperson Major Ezra Balagtey said the Martial Law implementation in Mindanao Island is still effective despite the series of bombings that spawned Mindanao.
“As far as Eastern Mindanao is the concern, Martial Law is still effective. As far as security adjustments and security preparations that we are conducting here in Eastern Mindanao” said Balagtey. (davaotoday.com)