R-12 police gets robot for anti-bomb ops

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/24 September) — The Police Regional Office 12 has adopted the robotics technology to enhance the reconnaissance operations of its explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) or anti-bomb units.

Chief Supt. Charles Calima Jr., Region 12 police director, said Tuesday they turned over a package of EOD mobile robotic device to the EOD unit of the Sultan Kudarat Provincial Police Office as part of their ongoing capability upgrading and enhancement program for local police units.

Calima said the unmanned mobile robotic device will mainly assist EOD units in Sultan Kudarat and in other parts of the region in remotely checking or verifying explosive devices or materials.

Region 12, which is also known as the Soccsksargen Region, comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

“The device will help will our EOD and other police units in identifying threats involving explosives in fast and accurate manner,” he said in a statement.

Calima said the release of the EOD equipment, which is considered historic being the first of its kind for the regional police, came after a training in the use of mobile robotic devices facilitated by American EOD experts, he said.

The official said the modern EOD equipment was one of the three units initially distributed by the Philippine National Police central office.

The two other devices were released to the Zamboanga City Police Office and the National Capital Region Police Office, he said.

Sultan Kudarat Gov. Suharto Mangudadatu, who graced the simple turnover rites for the EOD equipment, committed to provide the necessary resources for the maintenance of the robotic device.

He assured to properly maintain the usability of the device, which he christened as “Charles Robocop,” even beyond his term of office.

Mangudadatu said the provincial government will continue to support local police units and will specifically allocate an additional financial assistance of P30,000 to the Sultan Kudarat Bomb squad for the use and maintenance of the robotic device.

He said the local government has been allocating around P600,000 annually from its peace and order funds as assistance to the provincial police office. (MindaNews)