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125 police officers pulled out of Cotabato City LGU taps BPAT

Local News • 20:05 PM Tue Dec 22, 2015
Ferdinandh Cabrera
Cotabato City Mayor Japal Guiani Jr

COTABATO CITY -– Local officials will make use of force multiplier” to help secure
the city from lawless elements after 125 policemen, earlier deployed in the
city, were recalled back to police regional office in Gen. Santos City.

Presiding over the City
Peace and Order Council Meeting (CPOC), Mayor Japal Guiani Jr raised concern
over the pull out of police augmentation force amid reports lawless elements
may strike anytime during the Holidays.

The augmentation
force was sent back to PNP-12 regional office after the celebration of Shariff
Kabunsuan Festival for another assignment.Guaini
admitted receiving security bulletin that threat groups are out to spoil the peaceful
Christmas holidays in the city.

Cotabato city
is on red alert status, we received information that some groups may take
advantage of the limited police personnel in the city,” he said, adding that
the city government will tap the village watchmen to help in maintaining law
and order.

We will tap
our village security forces like the BPAT (Barangay Peacekeeping Action Teams),”
Guaini said in media interview.

About 400 uniformed police personnel are securing the city with
a population of more than 250,000. An
Army battalion, the 5th Special Action Force (SAF) is helping the
local police in securing the city.

When asked if
village watchmen are allowed to carry guns, Senior Supt. Raul Supeter, city
police director, saidand They don’t have the papers to possess firearms.”

During the
PPOC meeting, village officials raised the concern of having BPATs personnel who
do not carry guns because the lawless elements are armed with high calibre firearms.”

They cited the
death of a village councillor Misuari Karim of Barangay Bagua Mother Misuari
Karim whose attackers were armed with high powered firearms.

Guiani took exceptions to information circulating in the social media
supposedly purporting Cotabato City as the second most dangerous place in the

He said the spread
of this information was politically motivated. What saddens me, we learned, that
a city official was partly behind this, so disgusting,” Guiani said without
naming the official.

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