Sara Duterte: Davao City’s counter-terror team not perfect but working
DAVAO CITY – Mayor Sara Duterte is not expecting the military-led Task Force Davao to be perfect in its mandate of keeping terrorists away from the city but she recognizes the team’s track record of doing its best and foiling other terror threats.
Duterte made the remark to reporters after attending the anti-terror unit’s 14th anniversary on Wednesday, more than seven months after a blast killed 15 people and wounded dozens at the night market along Roxas Ave.
The blast was linked to the Maute group, a band of self-styled Islamists who had been courting the support of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
Despite the attack, Duterte said her trust in TF Davao has remained high and her marching order to its members has been to always “(k)eep Davao City peaceful and terror-free.”
“We do not seek perfection, but we do expect them to do their best,” she said.
In her speech during the anti-terror unit’s anniversary, Duterte thanked and praised the men behind TF Davao for their sacrifices – braving the heat of the sun and the cold rain – to ensure that the peace and safety of the city.
“The ultimate challenge is to mark years of living peacefully and freely and that is something that we should always strive to attain,” she said.
She also distributed gift certificates to TF Davao members as a simple token of the city government for their hard work for the city.
Col. Erwin Bernard Neri, the TF Davao Commander, also thanked Duterte for her continued support for and trust in the anti-terror unit.
“Everything that is happening right now, the peace and order that we have is because of the support of our city mayor,” Neri said.
TF Davao was created on April 16, 2003 in response to the series of bombings in the city. It mainly consists of soldiers, militiamen and volunteers who worked with the city police office in such tasks as intelligence gathering, checkpoint operation and others.
Since its creation, the TF has foiled several terror attempts and arrested high-profile criminals, including those engaged in illegal drugs. SFM/rga
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