City braces for Jolo spillovers

Law enforcement agencies have combined their efforts to beef up security especially along the shorelines, including town police forces, in a bid to pre-empt the possible spillover of terroristic activities in Negros Island being the frontliner in facing the Mindanao sea and island.

Security is also being beefed up in the tourist island of Apo and Siquijor where landings can be made easily along its shoreline unless heavily guarded not only by law enforcers but by civilian volunteers as well.

Civilians have been organized to patrol the shorelines especially at night on a voluntary basis. Yet there were so many volunteers in raising the alarm for unusual    landings at any time of the day or night by strangers.

Increased police visibility has been noticed in the streets of Dumaguete City not only because of the election period that imposes a ban on guns and explosives but also to assuage the public’s concern due to the recent bombing in Jolo and Zamboanga City.

Because of its location, Dumaguete City is also the gateway to Mindanao or Luzon Islands. In fact, hundreds of evacuees sought refuge in the city following the Marawi crisis some of the Muslim evacuees have opted to live, study and work here even after the cessation of hostilities.

Provincial Highway Patrol Team Leader Sr. Insp. Silvestre Cenia said that his unit in coordination with the Commission on Elections and Dumaguete City Police Station will continue to conduct checkpoints and surprise inspections to prevent the entry of firearms and explosives.

On the other hand, City Chief-of-Police Supt. Gregorio Galsim assures that there is no credible threat against the peace and security of the city according to the intelligence community.

“The city remains generally peaceful. Reports of threats of violence or bombing is negative,” Galsim asserts.

He said that in view of the elections checkpoints are necessary to enforce the prohibition on the carrying of guns and explosives.

Galsim noted the presence of hundreds of Muslim residents in the city including those who fled from violence in Mindanao. In fact, after assuming his post, Galsim met with the leaders of the Muslim community to reinforce their joint commitment to work for a peaceful city.