GenSan Downgrades Security Alert Level; Lifts Curfew

The city government has lifted the city-wide curfew as it downgraded the alert level in the area due to the improved security situation.

Dr. Agripino Dacera Jr., head of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, said Wednesday the move was based on a resolution issued by the city’s crisis management committee.

Dacera said the committee headed by City Mayor Ronnel Rivera decided to lower the area’s security alert level from 4 to 3 following an assessment by the city police, the Army-led Joint Task Force GenSan, and other intelligence and law enforcement units.

“The (security) threats have so far softened in the city as well as the whole (Soccsksargen) region,” Dacera said in an interview over TV Patrol South Central Mindanao.

The crisis committee raised the alert status here to level 4 following the bomb blast near a commercial area along the national highway in Barangay Apopong last September 16 that left eight people wounded.

Police arrested the alleged primary suspect three days after the blast and filed charges against 18 others, who were all tagged as members of Islamic State-inspired local terror group Ansar Al-Khilafah Philippines.

An advisory issued by the city government on Tuesday said the observance of the 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew was lifted by the crisis management committee through a motion made by the mayor during a meeting late last week.

Dacera said the enhanced security measures, including the “No ID, No Entry” policy in checkpoints and all entry points in the city will remain in effect.

Thorough inspection of vehicles will continue at the designated checkpoints and chokepoints in the city, he added.

The advisory said all passengers of both public and private vehicles are required to present their valid identification documents before they could be allowed to enter the city.

The increased police visibility within the city, in coordination with other security and law enforcement agencies, and the conduct of related security measures will also be sustained.

Private establishments were also encouraged to heighten coordination with the city police and Joint Task Force GenSan in line with security concerns involving their personnel and establishments.

“The public is encouraged to continue to be vigilant and to report all suspicious people, objects, and activities to their barangay offices/officials and public safety agencies,” it added. (PNA)

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