From the Philippine Information Agency (Jul 6): JTG “Deter” pushes for interagency TF in Siquijor amid terror threats
Siquijor province is insurgency-free but it is not exempted from terror threats, said Philippine Navy Capt. Jorge Ibarra, commander of the Joint Task Group Deter of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Ibarra further said he is pushing for the creation of a joint interagency task force to secure the province and prevent the spillover of terrorist groups from Mindanao to enter Siquijor.
This was said during the interagency workshop on Security held on Tuesday, July 4 at Salagdoong Beach Resort in Maria, Siquijor.
The workshop sought to review and evaluate the different law enforcement agencies structure and its operating concepts in the province of Siquijor; establish command and support relationship of the interagency structure on security; and to establish an effective interagency communication network.
Ibarra said Siquijor can be the eyes and ears of terrorism so that the best effort we can do is to secure the area and keep it free from terrorism, he said.
Ibarra however, assured the public that Siquijor is currently part of the areas being patrolled by Navy vessels with its 24/7 seaborne patrols even prior to the Inabanga, Bohol incident.
The Siquijor Police Provincial Office (SPPO) also lent its support as even before the clash between the government troops and ASG in Bohol happened, the Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB) had sent two teams composed of 15 augmented personnel who were deployed to beach resorts particularly in San Juan which is right across Mindanao.
Aside from the RPSB team, another platoon from the AFP was deployed which is enough to protect the island, SPPO Deputy Director for Operations Enrique Belcina said.
Despite the terror threats, Siquijor generally remains peaceful and safe, Belcina said.
While pushing for the creation of a joint task force on security in Siquijor, Ibarra also asked the support of the local communities particularly in the information collection.
Ibarra added that priority efforts with a series of meetings with stakeholders are made to secure the island and deter possible attacks.
He said all Philippine Navy vessels are seen patrolling the sea at all times. They only dock at the port at certain times to re-fuel or get provisions, he said.