Police and military authorities reported that the Davao region’s holiday celebrations were “generally peaceful”, despite a few pocket security incidents.
During an AFP-PNP press corps briefing held in Davao City at the Royal Mandaya Hotel on Wednesday, Police Regional Office (PRO)-11 Director Chief Superintendent Marcelo Morales reported that a lower number of crime incidents were recorded during the yuletide season of 2018 compared to last year. However, overall peace and order conditions were maintained throughout the Davao region.
“Mas mababa yung number of incidents compared last year (The number of incidents was lower compared to last year,” Morales said at the briefing.
Among the recorded incidents were the arrest of a soldier and a rebel returnee for illegal discharge of firearms, both in Davao Oriental; the arrest of a person selling firecrackers in the same province; and a stray bullet case in Davao del Sur.
According to Morales, the stray bullet incident was reported to the police by a house owner who’s roof the bullet landed on. No one was injured.
The AFP reported a total of four encounters with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) for the entire month of December 2018 within Region 11.
Despite the NPA previously declaring a ceasefire for the holidays, the AFP has continued to conduct non-stop offensive operations against the insurgency group.
“We know that they (NPA) will just take advantage (of the ceasefire) so we went to an offensive during Christmas and New Year and we were able to preempt some plans for the celebration of their anniversary and extortion (activities),” said Brig. Gen. Jose Faustino Jr., commander of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division.
Deputy commander of Task Force Davao Col. Randolph Cabangbang reported that Christmas and New Year’s festivities within Davao City were largely peaceful, crediting the low crime rates to intensified checkpoints and other city security measures.
As well, none of the city’s 12 police stations recorded any violations of the firecracker ban. City Police Director Alexander Tagum said that the police’s campaign against the use of firecrackers and other polytechnic devices has successfully dissuaded any would-be violators.