The Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 has placed the entire Davao Region composed of five provinces and six cities in full alert status in relation to the coming plebiscite of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) in some areas of Mindanao.
PRO 11 director Chief Supt. Marcelo Morales said all units have been in full alert since 6:00 p.m. of Friday, January 18 in the region.
“Davao being part of Mindanao and an adjacent region to ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao), although we haven’t detected any threats in our region, we cannot let our guards down,” Morales said.
He said all police commanders within Region 11 are ordered to keep their personnel intact, strengthen target hardening on all vital installations, economic key points as well as places of convergence.
Morales also told the commanders to coordinate with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and other law enforcement agencies to ensure high state of operational readiness to thwart any hostile action that may be launched by terror groups such as the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels, the Abu Sayyaf and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) who are against the BOL.
He said PRO 11 called for unity for a safe and orderly ratification of the BOL and take part in the capacity development towards building the foundation of the Bangsamoro Governance.
The plebiscite will happen on January 21 and February 6 in provinces of ARMM, Cotabato City, Isabela City, Basilan, towns in Lanao del Norte and certain barangays in North Cotabato.
At least 2.8 million people from these areas are expected to cast their vote during the plebiscite on the scheduled dates.
Morales also said PNP chief Director Gen. Oscar Albayalde issued an order to commanders to strictly implement the gun ban in their areas apart from intensifying their focused law enforcement operations to dismantle partisan armed groups, neutralize gun-for-hire syndicates and account for more loose firearms.
Based on records from January 13-19, a total of seven people were arrested f0r violating the election gun ban, three persons killed during police operations and three other people are still at large.
Also a total of nine short firearms and 256 rounds of ammunitions were confiscated as PRO 11 intensified enforcement of the gun ban.