PNP tightens security as NorthCot celebrates Kalivungan Festival

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 30 Aug) – Authorities here have tightened security measures to ensure safety of local tourists, visitors, and residents while they watch and participate in any activity during the Cotabato province’s Kalivungan Festival following the deadly blast in nearby Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.

Kalivungan Festival. MindaNews file photo by RUBY THURSDAY MORE

Senior Supt. Maximo Layugan, provincial director of the Cotabato Police Provincial Office (CPPO), said additional troops from the Police Regional Office (PRO) in General Santos City and elements of the Philippine Army, including “force multipliers,” were deployed inside and outside the provincial capitol compound at Barangay Amas here where most of the activities are being held.

On September 1, when the province’s 104th founding celebrations and the 2018 Kalivungan Festival culminate, Layugan said the CPPO and other law enforcement units will double their security efforts since two of the country’s most powerful women – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and Ilocos Sur Governor Imee Marcos – are expected to grace the event.

Layugan said they should not let criminal elements penetrate the province during these times of jubilation, excitement, and thanksgiving.

The powerful improvised explosive device (IED) planted in a parked motorcycle along the national highway in Isulan on Tuesday killed three individuals, including a seven-year-old girl, and wounded three dozen others.

The blast happened two days before the town culminated its weeklong founding celebrations.

Sultan Kudarat Gov. Datu Pax Mangudadatu has announced on Wednesday that he is shelling out from his intelligence funds P1 million as reward money to those who could disclose to authorities the mastermind and his cohorts in the deadly blast. (Malu Cadelina Manar / MindaNews)