ON orders of Philippine National Police chief, Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ M. dela Rosa, the
Philippine National Police Directorate for Operations (PNP-DO) will be supervising anti-terror
drills in major parts of the country to test the capacity, capability and interoperability of
police, military, Local Government Units and other concerned agencies in responding to such
situations, the Journal Group learned yesterday.
First to experience the anti-terror drill is Davao City, the hometown of President Duterte
where simulation exercises in case of a terror attack will be conducted this coming February 28,
PNP-DO head, Director Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan said. Next stop will be in Metro Manila, the
President Duterte’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Inday ‘Sara’ Duterte, has asked on the help
of all Dabawenyos in the conduct of the anti-terror exercises on the 3rd week of this month.
“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.
“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,” Mayor Duterte said in a statement issued last January 29.
“Davao City is no stranger to terror attacks, the latest of which took place on September 2,
On that day, a powerful improvised explosive devise went off at a local night market causing
at least 14 deaths and 70 injuries. The death toll as a result of that infamous attack rose to 15
when one of those injured, a pregnant woman died, on September 13, 2016 while undergoing treatment
in a local hospital.
The Abu Sayyaf terror group claimed responsibility for the bombing but later denied
responsibility, saying that their allies, the Daulat Ul-Islamiya, were responsible for the incident
as a show of sympathy to the group.
On October 2, 2016, police and military troops captured three of the 10 suspects in the
night market bombing and said the suspects have links to the Maute Group of ISIS-inspired men who,
along with the Abu Sayyaf, laid siege to Marawi City for five months beginning May last year.
The longest urban battle in the Philippines’ modern history left dead 974 militants, 13 of
them foreigners as well as 165 government troops, at least five of them policemen and 87 civilians.
Mayor Duterte has met Cascolan and Police Regional Office 11 director, Chief Superintendent
Manuel R. Gaerlan and other representatives of concerned security, LGU and government agencies to
finalize the conduct of the ‘Southern Storm Drills.’
“We particularly seek the participation of barangay officials because the simultaneous
exercise 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. We all need to be prepared because the fight against terrorism and
crime is a responsibility of everyone,” the presidential daughter said.