130 cops from R-12 ready for deployment to Yolanda-hit areas

GENERAL SANTOS CITY(MindaNews/18 November) — The Police Regional Office (PRO) 12 is preparing a 130-person contingent for possible deployment in areas devastated by super typhoon “Yolanda” in Samar and Leyte provinces.

Chief Supt. Charles Calima Jr., PRO-12 director, said Monday the contingent is presently on standby and is ready to leave the area anytime when ordered by the Philippine National Police (PNP) central office.

“We’re still waiting for the official deployment order but we’re prepared in case we receive a call or directive from Camp Crame,” he said in a radio interview.

The official said the 130-person contingent is a standard number required by the PNP central office for the standby response units of the regional police offices.

The same unit was mobilized by PRO-12 for the personnel augmentation required by the Commission on Elections and the PNP central office in parts of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao during the October 28 barangay elections.

The police contingent from the region was deployed to secure and assist the conduct of the elections in the Lanao provinces, which were declared as election hotspot areas.

Aside from the 130 police personnel, Calima said they may augment the region’s contingent with police trainees and newly-hired policemen assigned in various parts of the region.

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

“We designated all our personnel with the rank of Police Officer 1 to become part of the contingent if needed later on,” Calima said.

Meantime, relief donations for the survivors of typhoon “Yolanda” have continued to swamp local governments and some private organizations here.

The City Social Welfare and Development Office is now preparing to deliver to the disaster-hit areas the initial batch of relief items, some of which were donated by local residents.

The city government had committed to send 10,000 family food packs, sanitary and other non-food items to Tacloban City and other affected areas through a P3.5 million allocation from its disaster quick response fund.

In Koronadal City, Mayor Peter Miguel left for Tacloban City on Sunday to assist the ongoing medical and relief operations in the area.

Miguel, who is a doctor, brought along some medicine and relief packs that were donated by residents.

South Cotabato first district Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr. said his office has sent some 2,800 family food packs to Bantayan Island in Cebu while the South Cotabato Chamber of Commerce and Industry is now preparing to deliver some relief items to Samar and Leyte. (MindaNews)