FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City – A battalion of Army soldiers is sent to augment the security forces which are tasked to secure an estimated million-strong devotees who flocked to Manila for the feast of the Black Nazarene today.
The 500-man strong unit is composed of Civil Disturbance Management (CDM) – trained personnel and bomb-sniffing dogs from the K-9 Battalion.
“The Army soldiers are directed to augment the thousands of police forces which are already deployed in the area after President Benigno S Aquino III issued a warning regarding possible terrorist threat,” said Major Harold M Cabunoc, Army Spokesperson.
Cabunoc said that the soldiers will support the PNP personnel who are in the forefront of the security operations in the metropolis.
It can be recalled that the AFP and the PNP established a Joint Peace and Security Coordinating Center which aims to ensure the unity of efforts between the military and the police in tackling security concerns so that all matters relative to peace and order are jointly addressed.
Also, in the spirit of the IPSP Bayanihan, the AFP is always giving its support to the local government units and the police in its various functions including law enforcement.
“Most of the soldiers are not carrying high-powered firearms because their main task is to help in case of civil disturbance. Some of the soldiers are also tasked to inspect suspicious-looking materials using the K9 sniffing dogs,” added Cabunoc.
A team of explosive experts from the Army's EOD Battalion is also placed on standby to respond to any bomb-related scenarios.
“We would like our countrymen to peacefully practice their faith during this momentous religious festivity. As always, the soldiers will always be your partners in maintaining the peace,” concluded Cabunoc.