PHILIPPINE National Police chief Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa yesterday led the inspection of so-called ‘soft targets’ or places of mass convergence in Metro Manila which are vulnerable to crime and terror as part of the PNP leadership’s effort to ensure that all security measures in line with the PNP Oplan Ligtas SUMVAC (Summer Vacation) 2017 are in place.
Joined by National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Oscar D. Albayalde and Quezon City Police District director Chief Supt. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar, Gen. Dela Rosa first went to the Araneta Bus Terminal in Cubao, QC, where he witnessed a ‘simulated bomb exercise’ by the QCPD, and talk with commuters and security guards.
He later took an MRT 3 ride where he joined a crowd squeezing themselves in a crowded MRT train. He joked with fellow passengers while enjoying the ride and seeing to it that security is really working without any hitches.
The PNP chief also was to inspect a bus terminal in Pasay Rotunda in Pasay City, the Baclaran Church in Parañaque City, a Manila pier and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.
According to the top cop, he is personally inspecting places of mass convergence to see if all police security measures are being properly implemented.
He said the inspection is part of their Oplan: Ligtas SUMVAC 2017 which focuses on providing safe travel to the public and ensuring that their homes are also safe while they are away.
During the ‘simulated bomb exercise’ at the Araneta-Cubao Bus Terminal, security personnel cordoned off the area and waited for the arrival of a bomb squad and emergency rescuers.
According to Eleazar, they initiated the exercise in which they tested the speed and capability of their men in responding to a bomb situation in coordination with the Araneta-Cubao Central Business District, their different stakeholders and other disaster response teams.
The 9:30 a.m. exercise determined the level of preparedness for local or foreign terror attacks, as the exodus to the provinces of many of our ‘kababayans’ begin this week, said the QCPD director.
The drill started when a security guard of the Araneta bus terminal reported to the Cubao Police Station under Supt. Louise Benjie Tremor the ‘discovery’ of a black bag containing a cell phone and wires left unattended in a bus.
The information was immediately relayed to the QCPD District Tactical Operations Center and forwarded to other disaster response units of the QC Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Department of Public Order and Safety, Bureau of Fire Protection and Metro Manila Development Authority prompting them to react accordingly.
K-9 Units and personnel of the QCPD District Public Safety Battalion’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit were quickly dispatched to the site.
After confirming the presence of an improvised explosive device in the area, bomb disposal experts conducted Render Safe Procedures which included the successful on-site detonation of the IED using the MK3 Caliber ICOR Robot and Disruptor Water Cannon.
The PNP’s MK3 CALIBER is a medium-sized robot designed for remote handling and Render Safe Procedures of IEDs and other explosive ordnances, reconnaissance missions, two-way communication and deliver/retrieval tasks.
The MK3 is uniquely equipped with two robotic arms (a heavy-duty robotic claw and twin-disruptor turret), as well as six color cameras which help facilitate all kinds of surveillance missions.
Gen. Dela Rosa stressed the big role that private security guards play in thwarting terrorist attacks, saying they are the first responders in such situations.
He called on the public to help thwart any threat by immediately reporting to authorities any suspicious object or individual.