Community networks a better defense against terrorist threats
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.
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.)