By VIC LARATO
Mayor Beng Climaco bared Monday that she has requested for additional deployment of at least two battalions of security forces—one from the Marines Battalion Landing Team (MBLT) and another from the 11th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army—in Zamboanga City to fortify the high level of alertness in this part of the country.
“We are demanding lo less than two battalions from the MBLT and the 11th IB to protect Zamboanga City, to be complemented by the existing police personnel and Task Force Zamboanga,” the local chief executive said in her weekly press briefing.
Part of the request, she said, was additional bomb-sniffing dogs (K9s) including explosive and ordnance device (EOD) personnel to be pulled out from other areas to focus on the city.
This developed as Zamboanga City has been placed on heightened alert since the start of the military operations against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Sulu and following Friday night’s bomb explosion in Davao City that killed 14 people and injured about 70 others.
“The city of Zamboanga is extending our support and assistance to our troops,” Climaco said, adding that security measures are also leveled up not only on land but in the waters as well through the Coast Guard and the navy.
The mayor assured though the present high alert level is put in place without jeopardizing the city’s socio-economic activities, knowing that the people have already suffered so much during the siege three years ago.
“That is why, as local chief executive, given all these challenges in security, am calling for the people. We have to work very hard, even triple time, by utilizing our PNP units and TFZ,” Climaco said.— Vic Larato