Iligan City – In a security briefing to the business sector, civic organizations and other groups, city mayor Celso Regencia appealed to them to “bear with us in the meantime” until the situation normalizes.
He said he was well aware that the business sector are having a hard time especially with the on going Marawi crisis.
Regencia said this is for the city and for everybody, adding that the curfew hours might be lifted “soon”.
He recalls that when the Marawi siege broke-out followed by the declaration of martial law all throughout the islands of Mindanao by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, he had to personally see to it that everything was being done to reinforce the city’s security to ensure that their would not be any spillover of what happened to its nearby city.
Regencia recalled that their was a time he had very little sleep and then waxed poetic words that he was even prepared “to give my life for the city’s sake.”
Col. Leony Roy Ga, this city’s police chief related how it was on the part of the police force here. It had been particularly trying specially during that day in May 23, when among the first casualties , he said was Police Chief Sr. Supt. Freddie Solar of Saguiaran, Lanao del Sur.
The latter, was reported to be at the Amai Pakpak Medical Center for a check-up on something which he had complained of, when the Maute group chanced upon him.
Ga said they immediately put up strict mobile check points, and pension houses, lodging houses, inns, hotels and similar establishments were thoroughly inspected even as evacuees at evacuation centers set up and even those staying with houses of some residents in the city accepting evacuees were visited too.
He said with the help of barangay officials, they were profiled, he said, after being listed and evaluated. They made use of “force multipliers,” at the barangay level by having these barangay people have their own “ronda” or moving around, checking on people specially those who have newly entered the city.
They identified some barangays that are doubly “Susceptible” such as Rosario Heights, Del Carmen, Cabaro. Adding that every night, barangays have their “ronda patrol” he said. And “recoridas” are made every now and then to remind the people on the situation and what to do.
He also enjoined them not to spread some news that have yet to be validated to avoid panic but inform the police or the military for validation. Saying that he also gave them the police hotline in case they see something suspicious in their area.
He shared that it was very chaotic at first but later on, there is already some kind of order in the check points, although there are still long lines checking commuters.
The business community led by its President, Reggie de la Punongbayan. Sotero “Roy” Trinidad, of the Lanao Press Club expressed their support to the Martial Law declaration.