August 22, 2017
CAGAYAN de Oro City--The Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) has tapped the services of some civilians to ensure the safety of Kagayanons as they celebrate their month-long annual fiesta in honor of their patron, St. Augustine. Cocpo Spokesperson Chief Insp. Mardy Hortillosa II said that based on their initial assessment there is no terror threat in the city during the entirety of the festivities despite the fact that the month-long siege in nearby Marawi City is still going on. Thus, there is no need for any reinforcement from the Police Regional Office 10 (PRO 10) which is also quartered in this city, Hortillosa said. In 2016, Camp Alagar sent a team from the Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB) and trainees from the Regional Training School (RTS) to augment in crowd security during the yearly fiesta parade on August 27, fiesta eve. This year, RTS might send their own unarmed police trainees because this is part of their training, Hortillosa said. They are mostly assigned for assistance visibility. What Cocpo is strengthening this year though is its intelligence. Hortillosa said the City Intelligence Unit under Chief Insp. Ariel Philip Pontillas has already tasked civilians from various organizations to act as undercover persons in crowded areas. “There are lots of civic groups who have volunteered and have attended our meeting. They will be deployed specifically to be vigilant about suspicious persons and objects,” Hortillosa said. On top of that, the battalion-size Task Force Oro is also mobilizing its soldiers to be more fluid and to roam around the city, guarding places of celebrations. Task Force Oro has the complete list of fiesta core and parallel events. Police stations from far away barangays like Lumbia, Puerto and Bulua will also send five police officers each to the city proper to augment their urban-based colleagues. Other security measures in crowded events such as the annual civic-military float parade include the ban of backpacks, bullcaps and camera drones within a considerable radius at the event site.READ MORE
May 13, 2017
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/13 May) – A mayoralty candidate was wounded while one of his supporters was killed in an alleged encounter with Army soldiers in Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur on the eve of Monday’s midterm elections. Zamboanga del Sur police director Col. Redentor Retusto said Domingo Mirrar, candidate for Lakewood mayor under Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino, survived an encounter with Army soldiers in Barangay Tubod Sunday night. But one of Mirrar’s supporters was killed, Retusto said. “We are still investigating the incident,” he told MindaNews. Mirrar, in a talk with Mindanews, offered a different version, saying it was the soldiers who fired at him and his supporters. He said he on board a jeep and 15 supporters riding motorcycles passed by a checkpoint manned by Army soldiers when soldiers on a military truck chased them and opened fire, hitting him in the thigh. “I told my driver to slow down when I sensed the soldiers were chasing us. They were about to overtake us when they fired,” he narrated. Mirrar said the hail of bullets forced his vehicle to smash an electric pole. Frightened, Mirrar said he hid in a ravine and only came out three hours later when he saw that a police car and reporters had arrived at the scene. Meanwhile, in Northern Mindanao, policemen seized over P1 million believed to be intended to buy votes in three provinces and Iligan City Sunday night. Philippine National Police Region 10 spokesperson Col. Surki Sereñas said the money was confiscated from 16 suspects who were arrested in a midnight drive to stop vote-buying in the provinces of Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental and Iligan City.READ MORE
January 23, 2017
CAGAYAN de Oro City--An infrastructure built along C.M. Recto Avenue purposely to prevent flooding did not serve its purpose as water inundated many parts of the city last Monday, the Department of Public Works and Highways, Region 10 (DPWH-10) said Wednesday. A portion of the highway and a bridge in C.M. Recto over Bitan-ag Creek, fronting the University of Science and Technology in Southern Philippines and the Lim Ket Kai Complex, was elevated by adding another layer of concrete but it did not stop the flashflood from occurring, said the DPWH-10. Bitan-ag Creek is one of the major waterways of Cagayan de Oro City. It cuts across the major residential and business districts of the city from Barangay Camaman-an, Cogon Market, Limketkai Center, Agora Market and Barangay Lapasan. It is also the main drain of the drainage system of the Cogon Market area, Osmena Street, Provincial Capitol Compound, Ramonal Village, Barangay Nazareth and a portion of Divisoria. Engr. Arthur Cupay, Chief of Planning and Design Chief of DPWH-10, said that different factors led to the flooding, one of it was the 160mm of rainwater dump in just 6 hours – an equivalent of 2 weeks rain in the city. In 2011, Typhoon Sendong dumped more than 180mm of water which killed almost 1 thousand and 1,500 missing in the city. The flood along C.M. Rcecto Avenue trapped more than 600 students and faculties of USTSP and thousands in Lim Ket Kai Complex. It also caused massive damage to the vehicles parked along the complex. 200 hotel guests from lim Ket Kai Lux Hotel on a national conference and was due to depart on Monday was unable to leave due to the flood. DPWH recently completed the elevated bridge and ramp over Bitan-ag creek which was designed to hold more water, but garbage from upstream compounded the problem, clogging the creek, causing “dam like” effect that spilled more water and mud into the national highway. “It was designed to hold more water, but it failed, but it was not an isolated incident because flood was all over the city, not just along the national highway,” Cupay said. The Bitan-ag creek is one of the major waterways in the city that drains into Macajalar Bay. The city’s 2nd District Representative Maxi Rodriguez where most of the flooding occurred said that currently, the DPWH 10 has a 1.2 billion pesos drainage project along the National highway and the Bitan-ag creek is part of it. Among the on-going project is the Agora Road subterranean canal which lies opposite of the Bitan-ag creek. The 600 meter canal can fit two jeepneys inside and runs underneath the Agora road. “What we are negotiating now is with commercial establishment Puregold because the canal will run underneath their building,” Rodriguez said. Lim Ket Kai Complex and Puregold are adjacent with the Bitan-ag Creek bends at the back of Puregold. “The Design would then allow the Bitan-ag Creek to fork between Lim ket Kai and Puregold, dividing its waters that would drain into Macajalar Bay,” Rodriguez added. The DPWH has 17 drainage projects along the Bitan-ag Creek and much of the 2nd district’s urban barangays where the creek traverses with a total length of 9,853.78 meters or almost 10 kilometers which would cost 1.2 billion pesos. Cupay said that the project is already in the pipeline with the elevated bridge and ramp along the National highway as part of the project. “this does not include the much needed dredging of the Bitan-ag creek to allow water to flow freely without interruptions,” Cupay said. Rodriguez added that he will be sourcing the fund for the project and will asked DPWH Secretary Mark Villar to immediately release the funds needed.READ MORE
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