GenSan still in heightened alert status

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 26 Sep) – Authorities sustained the heightened alert status here in the wake of the continuing security threats following the Sept. 16 bomb blast that left eight people wounded.

Chief Insp. Jovenson Bayona, operations chief of the city police office, said Wednesday the entire area remains under “Alert Level 4” as earlier set by the city’s crisis management committee.

He said the committee and the city’s peace and order council, which are headed by Mayor Ronnel Rivera, decided to continue with the alert status and the enhanced security measures following an assessment on Tuesday.

“We’re currently working with our barangays to improve the implementation of the security measures,” he said in an interview over local television show Magandang Umaga South Central Mindanao.

Bayona specifically cited the city-wide curfew, which was first implemented Wednesday last week.

The curfew, which covers all residents and visitors, was set from 12 midnight to 4 a.m. in the city’s central business district and 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. in other areas.

The police official said they are set to meet anew with the city’s 26 barangay chairs to set other necessary arrangements in line with its ongoing implementation.

Bayona cited concerns of business establishments, including tuna canning plants, operating on 24-hour basis and employees who were assigned in work shifts within the curfew hours.

“We will discuss and set measures to ensure that the operations of these establishments and the movements of their workers will not be hampered,” he said.

Meantime, Bayona said they will also continue with the strict implementation of the “No ID, No entry” policy in the four main entry points of the city.

He said motorists and commuters are required to present government-issued IDs at the checkpoints of the city police and the Army-led Joint Task Force GenSan.

Those who would not be able to present any valid ID will be subjected to questioning and sign the checkpoint’s logbook, he said.

“This is to properly monitor all individuals who are entering the city,” he added. (MindaNews)