Com­mu­nity net­works a bet­ter de­fense against ter­ror­ist threats

Cebu Daily News - - NEWS - By Inna Gian Me­jia and Ade­lyn A. Lan­diza

CEBU City has a bet­ter de­fen­sive struc­ture against ter­ror­ist threats be­cause of the net­works es­tab­lished in the com­mu­nity, com­pared even to other coun­tries, said Mayor To­mas Os­meña.

He said the re­ac­tion to re­ports of the pres­ence of armed men on Olango Is­land only en­hances the in­flu­ence of law­less el­e­ments to im­pose fear to the pub­lic and cre­ate more dam­age.

“This risk has al­ways been there. It is not some­thing new. This can hap­pen in London or in Paris. We are not ex­empted,” he said.

But he said the city is bet­ter pre­pared than many other places.

“Here, there are barangay tan­ods and of­fi­cials and we have dif­fer­ent net­works. We have our Par­ish Se­cu­rity Group,” he said. Os­meña said he ap­pre­ci­ated the pres­ence of the dif­fer­ent sec­tors in the com­mu­nity.

He said that when he stayed in the United States for 15 years, the setup there was dif­fer­ent and it was eas­ier for ter­ror­ists to pen­e­trate com­mu­ni­ties there.

“Be­cause the pro­file of a ter­ror­ist is that he is not from here, not from the city. They will come in and they will rent a safe house. That is why (I) em­pha­size to peo­ple that if you have strange neigh­bors, just re­port it,” he said.

Fish­er­folk

Mean­while, Coun­cilor David Tu­mu­lak yes­ter­day met with the lead­ers of dif­fer­ent fish­er­folk or­gani- za­tions in the city, say­ing they are the first line of de­fense in coastal ar­eas and can pro­vide vi­tal in­for­ma­tion should ter­ror­ist groups en­ter the waters of Cebu.

“Our law en­forcers will cor­don the area where sus­pected ter­ror groups are spot­ted, and we will ver­ify who owns the ves­sels they board,” he said.

He also re­quested those who plan to go is­land hop­ping to tem­po­rar­ily de­fer their plans so that law en­forcers can fo­cus on mon­i­tor­ing the coastal ar- eas for pos­si­ble threats.

Tu­mu­lak met with the Panaghuk­bong sa Manana­gat sa Dak­bayan sa Sugbo (Pa­madaso) and urged them to re­port any sus­pi­cious per­sons or boats that ar­rive in the coastal ar­eas of Cebu. Pa­madaso has 56 ac­tive mem­bers.

Pa­madaso pres­i­dent Romeo Trazuna said Tu­mu­lak urged them to be care­ful and re­port to the barangay any sus­pi­cious per­sons or ac­tiv­i­ties in the coastal ar­eas.

“Kam­ing isip mga gag- mayng manana­gat, gita­gaan mi ug ad­vi­sory nga ki­na­hanglan mag-amp­ing mo ug maghatag mo’g info ug naay makita ninyo nga di kaayo ninyo kasi­nati labi na og mga ar­mado, mo­hatag dayon mo og re­port sa og kung di sa in­y­ong barangay, adto sa po­lice ug sa ubang ahen­siya sa gob­y­erno nga maka- re­spond dayon ,” he said.

(He ad­vised us fish­er­men to be care­ful and in­form the barangay of any sus­pi­cious armed men so the gov­ern­ment can im­me­di­ately re­spond.)

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