(L-R) Chief Superintendent Marcelo Morales, the Director of Police Regional Office (PRO)-11 Director, Brig. Gen. Jose Faustino Jr., commander of the Army's 10th Infantry Division, and Col Randolph Cabangbang, deputy commander of Task Force Davao, brief the AFP-PNP press corps on Wednesday's AFP-PNP press corps at the Royal Mandaya Hotel in Davao City. (PNA photo by Lilian C Mellejor)
DAVAO CITY – Pockets of security incidents at the close of 2018 did not affect the overall peace and order condition of the Davao Region during the New Year revelry.
This was the assessment made by the police and military authorities during the AFP-PNP press corps briefing at the Royal Mandaya Hotel on Wednesday.
During the Christmas and New Year revelries, police said among the incidents recorded throughout Region 11 include the arrest of a soldier and a rebel returnee for illegal discharge of firearms, both in Davao Oriental; a stray bullet incident in Davao del Sur, and the arrest of a person selling a firecracker in the same province.
Morales said the stray bullet incident was reported by the house owner when the bullet landed on the roof, although no one was hurt.
Morales, however, touted the lower number of crime incidents during the yuletide season of 2018 compared to 2017.
"Mas mababa yung number of incidents compared last year (The number of incidents was lower compared to last year," Morales said without elaborating.
On the other hand, Brig. Gen. Jose Faustino Jr., commander of the Army's 10th Infantry Division, reported there were four encounters with the New People’s Army (NPA) in the entire month of December 2018 within Region 11.
Faustino said the military conducted non-stop offensive operations against the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the NPA, despite the latter's declaration of a unilateral ceasefire.
“We know that they (NPA) will just take advantage (of the ceasefire) so we went to an offensive during Christmas and New Year and we were able to preempt some plans for the celebration of their anniversary and extortion (activities)," the military official said.
In Davao City, the deputy commander of Task Force Davao described the holiday season as largely peaceful.
“Ever since we have strictly implemented measures at the checkpoints and we were complemented by the random checkpoints,” said Col. Randolph Cabangbang.
City Police Director Alexander Tagum said none of the 12 police stations recorded any violation of the firecracker ban, attributing this to the police's intensified campaign against the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices throughout the holiday season. (PNA)