Caraga on high alert against extremists, Maute ‘sympathizers’

By Ben Serrano

One of the checkpoints set up in Caraga Region in connection with the anti-terror watch. Photo Santiago Municipal Police Station

For fear of possible spill-over of what is happening in Marawi City to other parts of Mindanao, the Caraga Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council placed the entire region on high security alert.

Rosauro Arnel Gonzales, Office of Civil Defense regional director and RDRRMC chair , said raising the security measure in the region would mean placing the police and army troops under 24/7 full alert status.

“Just like geo-met hazard forecast of PAG-ASA about a forthcoming weather disturbance, the warnings for DRRMC to take actions for human-induced hazards like terrorism. In case of happening for possible man-made disaster,” Gonzales said.

“The red alert activation will serve as warning for us as disaster response agencies to undertake monitoring operations, enhance our preparedness measures and inter- agency coordination so that we could undertake efficient consequence management and human assistance operations to the affected communities,” Gonzales added.

The Caraga DRRMC is composed of different Local Government Units in the region, government agencies like DILG, DSWD, DOH, Philippine Army, PNP, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Philippine Coast Guard chaired by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) held meeting May 24 afternoon in view of Martial Law declaration for entire Mindanao.

Gonzales enjoined the civilian populace , the business, academe, and other institutions to stay vigilant against lawless individuals who may plan to sow terror in the region.

Gonzales said the full alert status can be downgraded anytime should indicators show or prove otherwise.

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