From the Philippine Information Agency (Sep 26): AFP assures security in the waterways and rivers surrounding the city
COTABATO CITY – As part of AFP’s role in the maintenance of peace and security in Cotabato City, uniformed men of the Special Armed Forces (SAF) Battalion, under the 603rd Brigade on Monday, Sept. 22 inspected and scoured various river tributaries in the area.
Using the air boat, the SAF members travelled and scoured the rivers of Kakar area, Lugay-Lugay, Timaco and the exit part going to Illiana Bay for more than an hour to monitor and intelligence gathering on possible movements of lawless groups and other criminal elements who use the rivers as escape route.
Army’s 603rd Brigade commander Col. Arnel dela Vega said regular inspection of the waterways and river tributaries is being conducted to ensure the security and protection of people and the communities against criminal activities of lawless groups.
“I can say - our waterways, the rivers and mainland waterways are relatively secure. We can say that there is no present and immediate threat, dela Vega said. "We always conduct our preemptive security operations to prevent possible attempts to sow fear and apprehension among our residents,”
He added, “even though we have not received any report of threats regarding the security, we are constantly on alert and vigilant to be on the guard especially along the water ways.
The military official urged the support and cooperation of the public particularly barangay officials in the campaign against lawlessness by reporting presence of suspicious looking individuals to authorities to prevent crimes and other illegal activities.
“We also strengthen our communication capability and coordination efforts with the local police in the conduct of visibility and patrol so that whenever we can see any threat around the waterways we can readily and directly establish a blocking position,” he cited.
Citing the need for proactive stance, he said, they have likewise established detachments along the waterways adding the need for the continued commitment and help of the community especially the barangay tanod to be active in the intensified and aggressive campaign in the maintenance of peace and stability in the area.