S. Mindanao police beefs up team of bomb technicians

Chief Supt. Andres Caro II, Philippine National Police regional director, told reporters in an interview Wednesday this will enable the police force to respond faster to bomb threats.

He said EOD experts from the PNP's headquarters in Camp Crame conducted the training as part of the capability enhancement program of the PNP, but Caro admitted it came after a spate of bombing incidents in the province, in Southeastern Mindanao and in the neighboring the regions.

He said they can now afford to field out five EOD personnel in each province. At present, Caro said, they have to send in Davao City-based technicians to respond to threats in the other provinces.

The police official said the newly trained bomb technicians may not be experts but they can do their job in investigating and in preventing explosions. He said they now have more people to field out to educate the public about bombs, improvised explosive devices, and the threats they bring, in seminars and other functions.

Caro admitted that the current strength is not yet enough compared to their target, which is fielding out at least one bomb expert in every municipality in the region.

He said the boost came with the support generated from the local governments, citing the case of Davao City, whose mayor, Rodrigo Duterte, is the region's peace and order council chair.

In the aftermath of the bombing of a Weena bus in Bansalan, Davao del Sur last month, police have assisted bus operators in the region in a bomb and explosives awareness program given to drivers and conductors.

Caro said earlier that with more awareness comes faster response, which could help save lives and properties, putting the public to safety.