By Niño Luces
LEGAZPI CITY, Albay – The Bicol Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) convened on Monday to ink memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the creation of a task group that will handle the security of the region’s seaports and ferry terminals.
Held at Camp General Simeon Ola in Legazpi City, Albay, the MOA signing was led by Bicol RPOC chairman and Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal while Brig. Gen. Greg Almerol of the 9th Infantry Division, Bicol Philippine National Police (PNP) director Chief Supt. Arnel Escobal, Maj. Gen. Ariel Bernardo of National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA-5), Senior Supt. Joriz Cantoria, National Bureau of Investigation Bicol director Atty. Celso Ginga, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Bicol director Christian Frivaldo, Fatima Reaso of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Capt. Danilo Enopia of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Bicol and Arsenia Ilagan of the Bureau of Customs (BoC) Legazpi joined the signing as partner agencies.
Senior Insp. Malu Calubaquib, Police Regional Office 5 (PRO-5) spokesperson said the creation of task group is a call for an extraordinary measure to prevent terrorist attacks on vital government installations, particularly the seaports and ferry terminals in the region.
She said the group will be composed of the agencies such as PNP, PCG, NBI, Philippine Army, NICA, and PPA as lead agency.
The role of PNP-Maritime group will deploy to main ports at least six personnel per shift, jointly conduct with PPA security check and inspection of all vehicles and cargoes, coordinate with PPA operational activities and extend assistance to PPA in keeping peace and order inside the port.
The PCG’s role is to conduct security check of vessels before cargo loading and passenger boarding and other security measures.
PDEA will be the lead agency against drugs, while NBI will undertake investigation of crimes and other offenses. NBI also will conduct investigation and dispose cases involving trafficking in persons in Legazpi City and Naga City.
Calubaquib said that including the PRO-5, NICA regional office here, the Armed Forces of the Philippines – 9ID, and the Bureau of Customs has its role in maintaining the peace and order in every port of the region.
She added that the call of action is part of tightened security measures being implemented in every port in the region following the series of bombings that happened a month ago in Masbate province.