Heightened security assured despite low threat level to Palaro

TAGUM CITY (MindaNews/21 April) – Strict security arrangements will be observed for the duration of the Palarong Pambansa on May 3-9 in this city even if the threat level to the event is considered low, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday.

Duterte, chair of the Regional Peace and Order Council of Region 11, assured the athletes and spectators of an intensified security for this year’s Palaro.

Duterte, who addressed reporters before the closed-door RPOC meeting here, said that on a scale of one to 10, the threat level is three.

But the mayor said the low security threat level did not mean the government will reduce the deployment of security forces.

He assured that the government will utilize all available security forces for the duration of the event.

“Even if the scale is 10, three or two, the intensity of security should be the same. Every gathering here requires full attention. I don’t expect bombing but we have to be prepare. God forbid,” he said.

On Friday, Davao del Norte Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario emphasized that security measures have already been drawn out for the national games.

In a press briefing in Davao City, del Rosario assured that security will cover the delegations and spectators from petty crimes.

He added the police and military have identified strategic places for checkpoints.

“We are very much ready to hold the Palarong Pambansa 2015,” he said.

At least 50,000 people are expected to arrive in the city for the Palaro, del Rosario said. About half of the visitors are athletes, crew and their families coming from 18 regions across the country.

The games will be held at the Davao del Norte Sports Complex except for the gymnastics which will be held at the Panabo City gymnasium.

Duterte also asked the public to be courteous whenever the police or soldiers conduct inspections at checkpoints.

Everybody including government officials must submit for inspection, he stressed.   “If you have questions, don’t argue with the soldier on duty, look for the commander. But I want the police and soldiers to be in full uniform with nameplates.”

The City Government of Davao may provide additional financial assistance for the beefing up of security as well as augmentation forces for the event, he added. (Keith Bacongco/MindaNews)