QC police chief says no terror threat at present
MANILA, Philippines — Quezon City Police District (QCPD) director Brigadier General Joselito Esquivel chief has clarified that there is no imminent terror threat right now, despite the conduct of a bomb attack simulation in Quezon City Tuesday morning.
Esquivel said the simulation was done to test the response time of the police bomb disposal unit and other personnel from various local and national government agencies.
According to Esquivel, the police is always prepared for the worst possible scenario.
“Lagi namang may threat, talagang ang pulis, we interpret on the extremes, so that when something happens, prepared tayo. Gano’n ang aming posture namin lagi, na may maximum na mangyayari, although wala naman,” Esquivel said in an ambush interview after the simulation in Cubao, Quezon City.
“Wala namang masama sa training. Ang dami ko na ngang na-receive na text, sabi ko it is just a preparation of an exercise, but sabi nga natin, this also raises awareness sa ating mga kapulisan mismo, na katulad ngayon, masasabi nila sa sarili nila, I could have done more better kasi nakikita ‘yong flaws sa execution,” he added.
Earlier, the QCPD and other agencies including the local Bureau of Fire Protection, Quezon City’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, the Philippine Red Cross, along with health and barangay officials simulated a bomb attack in a food park in Cubao.
Esquivel added that the simulation was done following an order from Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Oscar Albayalde to monitor places of convergence especially as summer vacation and Holy Week nears.
“Yong mga places of convergence, ‘yong mga vital installations, ‘yan ang mga unang tina-target, tine-take out ang communications, pero rest assured ang ating Quezon City Police, alinsunod na rin sa direktiba ng ating Chief PNP at ng RD (Regional Director) ko, na for us to always prepare and expect for the worst,” Esquivel said.
“Ito kasi (Cubao) ang business center dito sa amin sa QCPD, at dito ‘yong mataas ang concentration ng mga tao, siguro kung may aatake ito ang possible (target), of course yung ibang commercial districts,” he added.
The simulation in Cubao was the second conducted in just two weeks, with the Manila Police District holding its own last Thursday near the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Manila.
The simulations came two months after the successive attacks in Mindanao, including the twin bombings at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral in Jolo, Sulu, that left at least 22 dead, 96 injured.
During the simulation in Cubao, police prepared for the possibility of a second explosive device exploding after the initial blast. The QCPD’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) used a robot to pick-up an “improvised explosive device” and carry it to a safe place. /muf
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