POST-MARTIAL LAW: CPOC decides to retain ‘No ID, No Entry’ policy

The City Peace and Order Council (CPOC) chaired by Mayor Beng Climaco decided during its meeting yesterday to retain the implementation of the “No ID, No Entry” policy in Zamboanga City notwithstanding the end of martial law in Mindanao.

This, as the Zamboanga City Police Office, Joint Task Force Zamboanga (JTFZ) and other law enforcement units in the city are maintaining and sustaining all security measures they had implemented during the martial law period in Mindanao.

Col. John Anthony Divinagracia, commander of JTFZ, stressed that in lieu of martial law there is now a “state of lawless” declared in Mindanao, justifying the continued implementation of the “No ID, No Entry” policy.

As it was during martial law period, provincial bus passengers coming to the city are asked to alight from the bus upon reaching the checkpoint (in the east coast) and present their identification (ID) cards before they are allowed to get in the bus again and proceed to the city via the Integrated Bus Terminal (IBT).

Both the police and JTFZ reported to the CPOC during its first quarter meeting yesterday that nothing has changed in the city’s security measures during this post-martial law period. In fact, more measures are recommended.

The police said they maintain deployment of personnel to the central business district and adjacent barangays in coordination with TFZ.

Also sustained is deployment of mobile force company personnel for checkpoints in Labuan, Manicahan and Sta. Barbara. Five other checkpoints are also maintained in Labuan, Maasin, Guisao, Licomo and Divisoria, complemented by seven more checkpoints located in Baliwasan, Sta. Barbara, Rio Hondo, Upper Calarian, Sangali and Muti.

The police are likewise mandated to conduct at least two random checkpoints per day.

They also continue inspections of finger wharves and private ports, engagement with stakeholders and security agencies, reminding them of intensified security measures in the city.

The police are also keeping their interoperability with friendly forces, and deployment of personnel to Sta. Cruz Islands and Eleven Islands.

The police stressed they are committed to Mayor Climaco’s directive: “Do not give terrorists an opportunity to conduct terroristic activities in Zamboanga City.”

Meanwhile, the CPOC gave its imprimatur on the recommendation of Dr. Elmeir Apolinario, head of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO), to level up the city’s security plan for airport, seaport and bus terminal (IBT), taking into consideration the present threats to global security. Dr. Apolinario suggested that the city’s security plan must now include responses to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) threats, not only terrorism and hostage-taking incidents.-(Vic Larato)