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Davao City Anti-Terrorism Forum

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  • Pages: 8
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  • Category: Terrorism

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A.Historical Overview

As we all know, the City of Davao is considered as the ‘Most Peaceful City in the Philippines’ and ranked 87th fastest growing City in the world. Even so, it has experienced various terrifying events in the past with innocent civilians as victims: locals and foreigners; Christians, Muslims, and Lumads; adults, women and children. All of these acts were considered Terrorism based on available literature. The Commemorative Monument of Peace and Unity in Davao City with the Legislative Building in the background.

To enumerate, the first recorded violence attributed to terrorism in Davao City was on Easter Sunday, April 19, 1981 at the Roman Catholic San Pedro Cathedral – 17 were killed and more than 150 were wounded in a grenade attack. Another grenade attack on the same cathedral happened on December 27, 1993 – 6 died and at least 130 more were wounded. The third attack was in 1995 known as the All Souls Day bombing – a dozen were killed and about 100 wounded. San Pedro Cathedral is just across the road from the SP Building of Davao City. Terrorism has only became a serious topic after the 9/11 attack in the United States. For Davao City, post 9/11 attacks also became more violent and serious. Topping the list is the bombing of Davao International Airport on March 4, 2003 where a homemade bomb exploded at the waiting shed fronting the Davao International Airport killing 21 and wounding at least 146.

Less than a month later, 17 people were killed and more than 70 were injured when a bomb exploded near a barbecue stand in a row of food stalls by the Sasa Wharf ferry terminal on April 2, 2003. So far, the last recorded incident considered as terrorist attack in Davao City was the Valentine’s Day bombing that killed a 12 year-old boy and injured five others when a bomb exploded at the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal on February 14, 2005. This bombing was simultaneously instigated in Makati City and General Santos, which claimed the lives of 8 people and injured dozens of innocent civilians, and was claimed to be orchestrated by the Abu Sayyaf Group, a notorious local terrorist group, in retaliation for the military offensive launched by government troops in early 2005. An Indonesian national and two Filipino members of the Abu Sayyaf Group were sentenced to death in connection with the Valentine’s Day bombings.

B. Local Chief Executive’s Perspective

The best that Davao City can do against potential terrorist attack is to be vigilant and the use of diplomacy to ward off violence. Everybody should raise their level of vigilance. The first “Davao City Anti-Terrorism Forum” initiated by the City Government of Davao on November 24, 2010 with the aim of creating awareness and understanding of terrorism and raising the level of vigilance of all stakeholders. Hence, the first “Davao City Anti-Terrorism Forum” was undertaken by the City Government on November 24, 2010 with the aim of creating awareness and understanding of terrorism and raising the level of vigilance of all stakeholders. It was held at the Grand Men Seng Hotel attended by Barangay Officials, City Government employees, military and police heads, as well as leaders from the private sector. The initiative, coupled with continuing information dissemination prove to be effective and fruitful as evidenced by what Dabawenyos currently enjoy – Peace and Development.

C. Sustaining the Gains

Once people enjoy peace and development, they should not be complacent of what they are experiencing because terrorism can strike anytime and anywhere. Appropriate sustainment is needed through constant information drive and appropriate evaluation of stakeholders’ awareness level. This is the main reason why the City Government of Davao conducted the “Davao City Anti-Terrorism Forum 2012” in order to inculcate the imperatives for sustained stakeholders’ awareness on anti-terrorism in Davao City on June 1, 2012 at the Almendras Gym, Davao City with the theme: “Kahibaw-an sa Katawhan ngadto sa Kalinaw ug Kalambuan”or the Imperatives for Stakeholders’ Awareness towards Peace and Development. II. OBJECTIVES

A.Broad Objective

The overall objective of the City Government of Davao in conducting the “Davao City Anti-Terrorism Awareness Forum 2012”, facilitated by Task Force Davao, 10th Infantry (AGILA) Division, Philippine Army in cooperation with the Davao City Police Office, is to inculcate to all stakeholders the imperatives for sustained awareness on anti-terrorism in consonance with the “Target Hardening” component of the Davao City OPLAN Laban sa Terorism.

B.Specific Objectives

One of the objectives of the activity is to present the quick assessment undertaken by Task Force Davao on the current stakeholders’ awareness of terrorism and the anti-terrorism program in the city. In particular, Dabawenyos’ understanding of existing law(s), awareness of the City Government’s anti-terrorism strategy, their viewpoint on the potential effects of terrorism to Davao City and their suggestions to enhance the program were discussed. The most important objective of the Anti-Terrorism Awareness Forum 2012 is to serve as venue for all stakeholders, together with invited resource speakers and subject matter expert (SME), to discuss terrorism on the macro and micro level and how it influences Davao City’s march towards peace and development. Lt. General Emmanuel T Bautista AFP, Commanding General of the Philippine Army arrives at the lobby of the Almendras Gym Davao City Recreation Center during the Davao City Anti-terrorism Awareness Forum 2012 on 01 June 2012. Lt. General Bautista was greeted and welcomed by Mr. Magno G. Adalin Jr. (left), Chief of the Davao City Public Safety and Security Command Center and representing Honorable Sara Z. Duterte, City Mayor of Davao City, Brigadier General Ariel B. Bernardo AFP (second from right), Commander of the 10th Infantry (AGILA) Division, Philippine Army, and Colonel Marcos Norman S. Flores Jr. (rightmost), Commander of Task Force Davao, 10th Infantry (AGILA) Division, Philippine Army. Specifically, Task Force Davao took advantage of the venue to present the result of the Quick Assessment of the level of awareness of Dabawenyos on the following:

1) Terrorism and its threats to Davao City based on personal/corporate perspective; 2) Potential effect(s) to Davao City’s progress; 3) Davao City’s anti-terrorism efforts/strategy; 4) Respective role in anti-terrorism vis a vis Davao City’s strategy; and 5) Challenges or issues and concerns. Succeeding presentations and discussions were aimed: 1) to provide stakeholders an overview of terrorism and the current threats to Davao City’s peace and development; 2) to apprise all stakeholders on Davao City’s anti-terrorism strategy, concept, implementation, accomplishments, challenges, innovations and way ahead; 3) to emphasize the imperatives of stakeholders’ participation – Harnessing Multi-Sectoral Cooperation Towards Thwarting Terrorism and other Threats; 4) to emphasize the need to address terrorism, violence, criminality and Human Rights through the advocacy of the Arms Trade Treaty of the Amnesty International Philippines; and 5) to present to all stakeholders the Current Landscape and Evolving Trends of Terrorist Threats in Mindanao – Challenges for Peace and Development in Davao City.


A.Venue and Participants

The target audiences for the Davao City Anti-Terrorism Awareness Forum 2012 were the Davao City Barangay Officials, Sangguniang Kabataan Chairmen, representatives of National, Regional and Local Government Agencies, Non-Government Organizations, Cause Oriented Groups, representatives from the various sectors of the Civil Society, giving primacy to the students and the Youth being our most active mouth piece for the advocacy. Participants register as they arrive at the lobby of the Almendras Gym Davao City Recreation Center. As early as 8 o’clock in the morning of June 1, 2012, participants were received and registered at the lobby of the Almendras Gym Davao City Recreation Center. Registration was ably facilitated by personnel of Task Force Davao and the Davao City Police Office. The recorded participants based on registration were: Barangay Officials – 83; SK Chairmen/Officers – 34; Representatives of National, Regional and City Government Agencies – 11; Schools / Universities and Cause-Oriented Groups – 32; Security Sector – 139; and Other Sectors (Transport, Tourism, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Religious, etc.) – 158 or a total of 457 participants.

B.Opening Program with the Commanding General, Philippine Army as Special Guest

Lt General Bautista walks past the participants of the Davao City Anti-Terrorism Forum 2012 during the opening ceremony. The Opening Program immediately started upon arrival of Lieutenant General Emmanuel T. Bautista AFP, the Commanding General of the Philippine Army at around 9:30 o’clock that morning. Also present were Brigadier General Ariel B. Bernardo AFP, Commander of the 10th Infantry (AGILA) Division, Colonel Marcos Norman S. Flores Jr., Commander of Task Force Davao, P/SSupt Ronald M. Dela Rosa, Chief of the Davao City Police Office, and Mr. Magno G. Adalin Jr., Chief of the Davao City Public Safety and Security Command Center who acted as host in behalf of the City Mayor. Prior to the Acknowledgement of Guests and Participants, Mr. Jaime R. Torres, the City Mayor’s Office Consultant on Public Affairs who acted the Forum Master of Ceremony and Moderator, gave a brief rationale for the forum.

After which, Mr. Magno G. Adalin Jr. read the welcome message of Honorable Sara Z. Duterte, Mayor of Davao City. Mr. Jaime R. Torres, the City Mayor’s Office Consultant on Public Affairs, acknowledges Guests and Participants during the Opening Program. In her message, Mayor Duterte emphasized that: “As in any other endeavor, the quest for peace and security is not something that cannot be accomplished by one sector alone. Maintaining peace and order in our city is not the responsibility of (the) Task Force Davao and our military personnel alone.” The Mayor further stressed that: “As public servants, volunteers, and as Davaoeños and residents of this great city, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that Davao City is safe for us all.” The City Mayor also acknowledged the effort of Task Force Davao, led by Col. Marcos Norman Flores, for organizing the forum as a way of apprising the city’s stakeholders on terrorism. For all stakeholders, she conveyed her aspiration for all of them to be “empowered to take a stand and defend (our) Davao City against threats of terrorism”.


Mr. Magno G. Adalin Jr., Chief of Davao City Public Safety and Security Command Center reads the Message of the City Mayor, Honorable Sara Z. Duterte, during the Opening Program for the Davao City Anti-Terrorism Forum 2012 at the Almendras Gym Davao City Recreation Center on 01 June 2012.

The quick appraisal is an effective tool to arouse attention and understanding of the stakeholders, policy makers, security providers and the civil society in Davao City. To make use of this opportunity, appropriate materials were distributed to the in order to level-off understanding for anti-terrorism.

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