Duterte calls on NPAs to stay away during palaro

Regional Peace and Order Chair (RPOC) Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has called on the New People’s Army (NPA) and other armed groups to stay away during the duration of the 2015 Palarong Pambansa.

He, however, confirmed there is no present threat to disrupt the holding of the national games.

Amid his warning, Duterte however assured that the NPA will not create disorder in such kind of event. He also emphasized his warning is not only addressed to the rebel movement but also to other armed groups that are operating in Davao region.

“If there is trouble – it will not be from the NPAs. They do not want to do it,” the mayor told reporters during the RPOC meeting in Tagum City Monday.

The RPOC was convened to tackle the security plan for the Palarong Pambansa which will kick-off on May 3 in Tagum City where some 10,000 athletes and coaches are expected to converge. The organizers have also invited President Benigno Aquino III to grace the opening ceremony on May 4.

In a scale of 1 to 10, Duterte gave Davao Region a security level of 3 in Davao region with slight disturbance. He promised Davao City’s full support in terms of funds and manpower. “We will be utilizing available security forces,” he assured.

Duterte said a low security threat level does not mean reduction of government forces. “The gathering here requires protection…we expect for anything…but we don’t expect for bombings,” he said further.

He said he would respect any security plan for the Palaro. He said his policy for Davao City also applies for Davao del Norte for which the decision of the military and police on matters connected to security and public safety cannot be questioned.

Davao City Police Office (DCPO) director Sr. Supt. Vicente Danao said they have already committed 30 police officers from the Public Safety unit while 350 will secure Davao City especially during the arrival of the delegates.

Davao City will be the converging point for those coming from Luzon, Visayas and some parts of Mindanao. People are also expected to tour around the city as side activity of the Palaro.

The commanding officer of 10th Infantry Division, Maj. Gen Eduardo Año also assured the full security of the delegates. He said checkpoints in all strategic areas will be established. He also assured full coordination with other army forces in Region 12 and 13.

Año committed the 103rd company to augment the police and army forces to secure the Palarong event.

Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario had earlier announced “it’s all system go” for the national games. He said there will be 18 delegations arriving before May. Delegates from Davao region, for example, are already in Tagum to prepare ahead of the games opening.

Aside from athletes and coaches, relatives and friends are also expected to arrive in Davao.

Source: Philippines News Agency