NoCot spends P2.5M for elite police force

The Cotabato Rapid Response Group (CRRG), which completed the three-month intensive training last week, has 51 members highly trained members, said Supt. Alexander Tagum, North Cotabato PNP deputy chief for operation.

He said the amount was used in the purchase of 12 units of all-terrain sports 200cc motorcycles worth P1.3 million and 12 units Motorola handheld transceiver radios costing P300,000.

The remaining P892,000 was used in the purchase of individual equipment such as Aero Crash helmets, protective tactical goggles, uniforms, riding gloves, protective kneepads and tactical ammo vest for the CRRG troopers.

Tagum said the CRRG members were also trained in marksmanship, mobile patrol, checkpoint operations, hot pursuit, surveillance and counter surveillance.

The CRRG's mission, according to Tagum, include the conduct of rapid interjection response to counter terrorism, armed robberies and urban assault; carry out commando type unconventional warfare and rapid search and rescue operations; provide mobile close protective security for VIPs; and serve as disturbance management team in times of man-made disasters.

Tagum added that this motorcycle-riding special police unit is patterned after the Yassam, the Israeli rapid response group whom he said has been proven effective to handle large disorders, quick crowd control and terror attacks.

"This is because the motorcycle teams, with two members to a motorcycle, could cover a big area faster and better than conventional police riding in police cars," Tagum said.

The CRRG members will be deployed in North Cotabato's highways to safeguard the commuters in robbery holdups and any form of criminality, he said.

"We believed that the presence of CRRG in our highways would lessen cases of robbery holdups, especially in the Pikit-Pagalungan stretch," Tagum said.

PNP-12 Regional Director Felizardo Serapio and North Cotabato PNP provincial director Federico Dulay, with other top PNP officials, witnessed the graduation rites of the 51 CRRG members held at the parade grounds of the Cotabato provincial police force Friday last week.