Monday, January 27, 2020

Joint Task Force Zamboanga boosts security measures

From the Philippine News Agency (Jan 27, 2020): Joint Task Force Zamboanga boosts security measures (By Teofilo Garcia, Jr.)

ENHANCED SECURITY. Col. Antonio John Divinagracia, Joint Task Force Zamboanga commander, on Monday (Jan. 27, 2020) says that he has realigned the troops in downtown areas and other places of convergence in Zamboanga City. He says the move is part of a broader effort to boost the city's security. (PNA photo by Teofilo P. Garcia Jr.)

The chief of the Joint Task Force Zamboanga said their forces are being realigned while conducting "target hardening" as part of a broader effort to enhance security despite the absence of imminent threat in this southern port city.

Col. Antonio John Divinagracia on Monday said the Marine Battalion Landing Team-11 (MBLT-11) has been assigned in the central business district, including the local port, replacing the Army’s 74th Infantry Battalion.

Likewise, Divinagracia said the troops of the Army’s 74th Infantry Battalion were designated in areas where the MBLT-11 forces were pulled out.

Divinagracia said they have established a new detachment in Barangay Mariki, where most of the forces of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) landed during the 2013 Zamboanga siege.

Divinagracia said the detachment in Barangay Sta. Barbara has been moved to Sitio Buggok, Barangay Kasanyangan, to guard the coastline in the area, which the MNLF also used as a landing point of the MNLF during the siege.

Divinagracia said they have also established a detachment in Barangay Lumbangan to secure the bypass road, which links this city’s east coast to the west coast.

Meanwhile, another detachment will be placed in Barangay Limpapa, a popular tourist attraction located in the boundary with the town of Sibuco in Zamboanga del Norte.

Divinagracia said that a team of soldiers has been assigned at the coast line of the Gold Course and Beach Park, which is also frequented by tourists and other visitors.

He said the management of the golf course noted that the number of beachgoers has reached 14,000 people on New Year’s Day due to the presence of the security team.

Security has also been strengthened at the Zamboanga International Airport, Integrated Bus Terminal, and port of Zamboanga, he added.
“We have to enhance our security measures, we cannot be complacent,” Divinagracia said.

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