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Davao City prepares anti-terror drills

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By Yas D. Ocampo

Davao City – The city government of Davao has ordered its 182 barangays to cooperate with authorities on the conduct of a scheduled citywide anti-terrorism drill, dubbed Operation Southern Storm, from February 5 to 8, after the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) last week revealed plans for Operation Southern Storm.

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio ordered barangays to actively take part in the drills in a statement sent through the City Information Office.

“We solicit the cooperation and support of the Dabawenyos for the simultaneous anti-terror exercises called Southern Storm Drills to be conducted in Davao City in February,” Mayor Duterte said.

“We welcome this initiative from our security sector as this will test interagency and community preparedness and will address weaknesses in the event of a terror attack and other emergencies,” she added.

According to her, the exercises will require “a lockdown of the city and the members of our communities need to be informed.”

“Our cooperation, support, and patience during the conduct of the exercises will strengthen our readiness and capability to ensure the safety of our city and our communities against the threats of terrorism and crime,” Duterte implored her constituents.

She also underscored the “need to be prepared because the fight against terrorism and crime is a responsibility of everyone.”

Davao City is still recovering from at least two major terrorist-related attacks.

In November 2016, the city’s popular Roxas Night Market was bombed by terrorists associated with the Maute Group, the event killing 15 and injuring 69.

Then last year, members of the New People’s Army (NPA) raided and burned a packing plant of Lapanday in Brgy. Tigatto in Buhangin.

The entire island of Mindanao is now under a state of martial law, which Congress extended in a joint session late last year.

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