PCG tightens security in Mindanao ports after twin blasts
MANILA, Philippines — All Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) units stationed in Mindanao, the southern region of the archipelago, has been ordered to tighten security measures around all ports following the Jolo twin blasts on Sunday that killed at least 20 people and injured 81 others.
“I am reiterating the instructions of [Department of Transportation] Secretary Arthur Tugade to ensure that all security measures are in place and strictly implemented particularly in all ports in Southern Philippines,” Adm. Elson Hermogino, PCG commandant, said in a statement issued shortly after the incident.
“Be vigilant and keep our forces in the highest state of readiness,” he added.
Hermogino’s came after the PCG received reports that one of its personnel died in the twin blasts that rocked the Marian Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel during Mass.
The explosions took place just a minute apart of each other.
The fatality was identified as Seaman Second Class Jaypee Galicha, who was part of the PCG K9 personnel unit of the PCG.
Two other K9 personnel were also reported injured – namely, Petty Officer 3 Joemar Sanson and Petty Officer 3 Paolo Isolana.
According to the PCG, Sanson sustained burns in his body and multiple wounds from the blast. He is currently in critical condition and will be airlifted to Zamboanga City for immediate medical treatment.
Isolana also sustained multiple wounds but the PCG noted that he is in stable condition and is conscious.
All three PCG personnel were attending the Mass inside the said cathedral when the bombing happened.
The PCG also joined the public in condemning the “ruthless attack” against church attendees. /atm
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