Friday, December 5, 2014

AFP ready to secure commercial establishments in provinces that may be hard hit by 'Ruby'

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 4): AFP ready to secure commercial establishments in provinces that may be hard hit by 'Ruby'

With the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) now on "red alert" for expected landfall of typhoon "Ruby" this weekend, AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang said they prepared to deploy troops to safeguard commercial establishments on provinces that may be hard hit by the storm.

This is to prevent the recurrence of looting which took place during the aftermath of "Yolanda" last year.

"Our forces will secure supermarkets so there will be no more repeat of what happened during ‘Yolanda,’" Catapang stressed.

In relation to this, the AFP chief has ordered the deployment of all engineering battalions for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions.

"Ruby" is expected to batter Eastern Visayas, Bicol province and Northern Mindanao upon making landfall this Saturday.

The AFP chief also recommended that Cebu, one of the nearest islands with a sizeable airfield and military presence, be made a repacking center for relief goods that may be needed by typhoon victims.

He made this statement after noting that all of the Air Force's Lockheed C-130 "Hercules" cargo planes are based in Benito Ebuen in Mactan, Cebu and thus capable of being deployed immediately.

In a related development, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said that members of the recently returned 18th Philippine Contingent to Liberia are not under the "red alert" status of the AFP and thus could go on with their Christmas vacation.

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