Reg’l police office seeks registration of new residents in Davao City

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/29 May) – The Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 has recommended to the Davao City Peace and Order Council to pass a resolution urging the city council to craft an ordinance requiring new residents to register with the barangays.

PRO 11 director Chief Supt. Manuel Gaerlan told a press conference Monday that this will help the authorities monitor the movement of migrants.

He cited in particular residents of Marawi City who were displaced by clashes between government troops and the Maute Group.

He encouraged the barangays and residents to do their share in fighting terrorism.

“(Just like) what happened to Marawi, dahan dahan pumapasok ang ASG (Abu Sayyaf Group) and Maute personalities… Dapat tayo huwag hayaan ang mga communities natin na magkaroon ng ganito (We should not let this to happen in our communities). It starts with innocent-looking persons then eventually lumalaki, kagayan ng Marawi, totally disrupt ang communities,” he said.

Public Safety and Security Command Center chief Benito De Leon said the city is already expecting an influx of evacuees fleeing Marawi City, with Mayor Sara Duterte saying it is the “moral obligation” of the city to accommodate refugees.

“It is a moral responsibility of any local government or anyone of us to accept and help out the evacuees, in particular. We are also aware of the dangers it may pose because the Maute group may have joined the evacuees,” he said, reiterating the mayor’s stand on accepting evacuees from Marawi City.

He said the security sector has been undertaking intensive checks on the communities.

He said the city police office is conducting “Oplan Bolabog” resulting in the rounding up and profiling of 223 persons in Mini-forest Barangay 3-C who failed to present valid identifications.

Gaerlan said they were later released after being interviewed.

“So we have to interview them and were taken to Davao City Police Office. On same day, after ascertaining the circumstances – pagdating, pag-alis at pagtira –we even took them to the place where they were taken,” he said.

He said they will act on intelligence reports of any presence of terrorists in the communities.

Mayor Duterte encouraged the people of Davao to exercise prudence in planning their activities and avoid going to crowded places.

She said the tourism sector has been wary of the cancellation of some major events in the city, which is currently being groomed as the next destination for meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions.

But she said they already expected such reactions from the event organizers because of the declaration of martial law.

She said she believes things will become normal again. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)