Iloilo PCG steps up check of vessels from Mindanao
Posted: 2017-Jun-20 21.00.48 UTC+0800
ILOILO CITY — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Iloilo on Monday deployed additional personnel to the ports here to further strengthen its security and inspection of all vessels coming from Mindanao, specifically from Cagayan De Oro (CDO).
The boost in port security was made following the arrest of three alleged Maute members on board M/V St. Therese of Child Jesus by 2Go travel on Sunday.
PCG-Iloilo acting station commander Lieutenant Senior Grade Edison Diaz said in an interview that coast guards were already ordered to further tighten inspection of the passengers on board vessels coming from CDO.
Diaz said that additional coast guard personnel were deployed to secure the ports here, however, he did not state the number of men assigned to the ports.
Diaz said these additional coast guards were instructed to tighten inspection of all the passengers of vessels from CDO that will dock at the Iloilo port. They were also ordered to tighten the inspection of loads of the vessel.
Passengers are encouraged to report to sea marshals on board their vessels if they feel suspicious of their fellow passengers, he said.
Diaz said this was not the first time ports protection were intensified as he stressed that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) had ordered the PCG-Iloilo to strengthen security measures in all ports since martial law was declared in Mindanao last May 23.
The order aimed at assuring that no members of the Maute group or other terrorist group from Mindanao will transfer to nearby areas.
"We have been assuring security and inspection in our ports even before the (Sunday) incident happened but we will further strengthen it this time," he said.
According to Diaz, only the 2Go vessels from CDO is having a stop over at Iloilo port every weekends.
Meanwhile, Police Regional Office (PRO) 6 spokesperson Gilbert Gorero said that they have also strengthened its police visibility and police presence in the ports here.
Gorero said that the three alleged Maute members were already brought back to CDO early this morning for investigation. (PNA)