The unit would be composed of policemen trained to counter terrorism and illegal drugs operations and would be highly mobile with motorbikes equipped with the special gadgets and weapons.
North Cotabato Governor, Manny Piñol, has already allotted P2.5 million for the project and said he would also submit the proposal to the province’s legislative council on Tuesday for additional allocation.
If approved, another P61-million would be taken from the internal revenue allotment (IRA) that it would receive from the national government anytime this month. The amount would be on top of the P2.5 million he already allotted.
In a radio interview, Piñol said the motorbikes and the special gadgets would be used by the unit called Crisis Response Group (CRG), assigned to monitor the highway against entry of illegal drugs and other criminal activities in North Cotabato.
The CRG, according to Piñol, would be likened to the motorcycle-riding members of the anti-terrorism Task Force Davao in Davao City.
Before its full-swing operations, Piñol said the CRG members would have to undergo special training on counterterrorism, countersurveillance and monitoring, marksmanship, and other skills.
Piñol announced the plan during the Annual Provincial Summit on Illegal Drugs held last Wednesday. During the summit, the governor assured police chiefs from different towns in North Cotabato that the provincial local government unit (LGU) would also strengthen the police’s campaign against illegal drugs by providing them legal assistance, especially those policemen who would be harassed or threatened by individuals they accused or charged of violating the Comprehensive Drugs Act.
Piñol also dismissed fears that the special unit would turn into a “flying death squad”. “We can never execute extra-judicial methods in our area. We will effect arrests in lawful manner. These motorcycle-riding men will be doing overt, not covert, operations along our highways,” he said.