KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 20 Sep) – At least 20 metal detectors were distributed to the local police here and other law enforcement units to ensure the city becomes a “hardened target” for criminal elements, especially groups allegedly engaged in bombing.
Mayor Joseph Evangelista, who also chairs the City Peace and Order Council (CPOC), led the distribution of metal detectors on Wednesday to the Kidapawan City PNP, Barangay Peacekeeping Action Teams, Task Group Kidapawan, and the Civil Security Unit assigned at public terminals.
The metal detectors, which consist of a handheld unit with a sensor, are useful for finding “metal inclusions” hidden within objects.
These gadgets, according to Evangelista, could help law enforcers detect people carrying guns and knives and thus prevent from entering places such as terminals, public markets, hospitals, and schools.
“This is part of our target hardening measures, especially since our nearby municipalities have been attacked through bombings by groups out to sow terror,” said the mayor.
From 2002 up to 2007, the city has experienced several bombing incidents that killed and injured a number of people and destroyed properties.
“We don’t want a repeat of these incidents, that’s why we’re moving towards making the city a hardened target for criminals,” he stressed.
The use of metal detectors is the latest in the measures the city has undertaken to secure the residents from possible attacks and harassments.
Evangelista said they also embarked on making the national highway and the city’s commercial districts free from harm by conducting random checkpoints and deployment of at least 30 K-9 units in several key establishments and other public places.
The local police, on the other hand, has conducted “Oplan Yawyaw” or use of megaphones as part of its information dissemination to make the public aware of the imminent threats and how they could possibly help authorities detect explosives and eventually arrest suspected bombers.
“The operations against terrorism are our main priority in our peace and order campaign, of course, without setting aside our move to intensify fight against criminalities and illegal drugs,” said Supt. Ramel Hojilla, city police director. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)