‘Oplan Jellyfish’ seeks to boost Davao City’s fight vs. terrorism

PREPAREDNESS. Members of Task Force Davao tow their rubber boat at Sta. Ana wharf in preparation for an emergency drill amid the rough waters in the Davao Gulf, 04 July 2015. MindaNews file photo

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 25 April) – State security forces in Davao City are set to stage a simulation exercise (SIMEX), dubbed “Oplan Jellyfish,” at the Davao Gulf to test the capability of land, air and maritime units against terrorists, an official said.

Col. Darren Comia, Task Force Davao commander, said in an interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) that there will be a terror attack simulation at the gulf area to see how security forces will work together to respond to the situation to protect the city from harm.

He said they have yet to finalize the details of the SIMEX, which might be held this week or next week.

Comia noted that by holding the SIMEX, the city’s security cluster hopes to address the vulnerability of the porous Davao Gulf.

“There will be an explosion at the coast of Davao City and the terrorists will utilize the Davao Gulf as their egress. Through this, we can see the joint capability of our air force and maritime units on how to interdict these terrorists,” he said.

He said several air and maritime assets would be deployed during the SIMEX.

Comia said that various security agencies would participate in the exercise established to secure the gulf by activating an integrated response to a terror attack by blocking all its exit and entry points.

Participating in the SIMEX are the police, coast guard, navy and the military, he said.

He said the SIMEX is conducted as part of the mandate under Executive Order (EO) 62 issued by Mayor Sara Duterte on November 2, 2021, or an “order adopting the integrated response on terrorism plan of Task Force Davao and activating the joint security forces cluster in the event of terror attacks.”

“Davao City has been a target of terrorist attacks since the 1980s with the most common targets being easily accessible and highly-populated convergence areas such as commercial establishments and religious venues,” the order reads.

Under EO 62, TF Davao assumes the lead role in securing the incident area to facilitate the evacuation of casualties, conducting hot pursuit and preventing the escalation of the incident.

Comia urged Dabawenyos to foster the “culture of security” to help authorities quell terrorist attacks.

He asked the public to voluntarily submit themselves to the inspection of security forces and immediately report to the Davao City Police Office, TF Davao or Central 911 any suspicious “bags” left unattended to prevent a possible bomb attack. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)