By Betheena Kae Unite
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is now enforcing maximum security alert following the Basilan van blast on Tuesday.
All operating units of the Coast Guard,particularly in Coast Guard District Southwestern Mindanao, were directed to tighten security operations Wednesday.
Admiral Elson Hermogino, PCG commandant, said the order was due to the car bomb explosion that transpired in Sitio Magkawit, Barangay Colonia, Lamitan City, Basilan early Tuesday, killing 11 people.
“All PCG Units are directed to level up to maximum security alert and intensify vigilance at all times as strong presence of terrorist or international bombers thereby threatening public safety and security,” Hermogino said.
“The district commander in Southwestern Mindanao is there to assess the need to augment personnel in coordination with other security forces in the area,” he added.
According to the PCG commandant, security practices patterned from the Zamboanga seige was “immediately enforced after the incident as agreed upon by Acting Commander of Coast Guard Southwestern Mindanao, Captain Joseph Coyme and Task Force Zamboanga headed by Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar during an emergency meeting.
The security operations involve all vessels arriving and departing the Island provinces like Basilan and Jolo and even neighboring islets which do not usually undergo check points, must be subject to inspection and paneling of K9 dogs.
Moreover, the quick response teams of the National Headquarters PCG, Districts, Special Units such as CG Special Operations Force (SOF), CGK-9, CG Medical, CG Aviation Force are activated to be ready at all times for possible deployment.
The Philippine Coast Guard also advised the public to be vigilant at all times and report any suspicious activities within their areas. (Betheena Kae Unite)