GenSan raises security alert following Cotabato blast

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 6 Aug) – Police authorities have raised the security alert in this city and the neighboring areas following the deadly bomb attack in Cotabato City on Monday afternoon.

Senior Supt. Froilan Quidilla, city police director, said Tuesday the entire city is currently under heightened alert and they have deployed additional police personnel in various strategic areas to avert possible spillover or similar attacks in the area.

He said they specifically intensified their security operations in crowded areas such as shopping malls, public and private transport terminals, public markets, the city airport, Makar port, city hall complex and other public places.

Mobile police teams have been assigned in parts of the city’s downtown area and other communities within the 26 barangays, he said.

“We have increased our deployment at our checkpoints and choke points, especially those situated at the entry and exit points of the city,” he said in a radio interview.

Quidilla said they have strengthened their security and intelligence coordination with community stakeholders, especially barangay officials and civilian volunteers.

The official said the city police earlier implemented some security preparation regarding possible bomb attacks following the July 26 explosion in Cagayan de Oro City.

He said they gathered officials and personnel of the area’s private security agencies for a series of bomb awareness seminars.

Quidilla said such initiative was focused on further enhancing the capabilities of local security guards in identifying various types of improvised explosive devices and in the implementation of appropriate response mechanisms.

“We consider them (private security guards) as our security frontliners so they should be aware and equipped to properly respond to these concerns,” he said.

Quidilla urged residents to be extra vigilant and immediately report any suspicious movements by some individuals.

“Don’t hesitate to give us any information regarding these concerns. It’s not important whether these are verified because we’re after gathering as much information as we can and immediately act on them,” he added.