GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 27 Feb) – The US State Department has turned over a package of modern blast investigation equipment to the Police Regional Office 12 to help improve the capability of local police units in countering and responding to bomb-related attacks that might occur in the area.
Senior Insp. Benjamin Mauricio, spokesperson of the Region 12 police office, said the blast investigation equipment package was part of the commitments earlier given by the US government to the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) anti-terrorism campaigns and operations.
He said the package consists of six units of post-blast investigation and explosive incident countermeasure kits.
“These were intended to enhance and strengthen the post-blast investigation capabilities of our EOD (explosives ordnance disposal) personnel in case bomb-related explosions would occur in the area,” Mauricio said in a statement.
The police official said the equipment was turned over recently by Ed Schlachter, resident program manager of the US State Department’s Regional Security Office/Anti-Terrorism Assistance (RSO/ATA), to Chief Supt. Charles Calima Jr., Police Regional Office 12 acting director.
He said the post-blast investigation enabling equipment and explosive incident countermeasure kits were initially assigned to the Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato, and South Cotabato police provincial offices and the city police offices of Cotabato and this city.
He said another unit was assigned to the Police Regional Office 12’s Aviation Security Group 12.
“The PNP organization and the US government under the ATA had been partners in a mission and vision to provide the country and the world a peaceful place free from any danger, threat or killing,” Mauricio said.
ATA had conducted several trainings and courses for police personnel all over the country to enhance their capabilities and capacity to detect, deter, counter, and investigate terrorist activities, he said.
He said they were especially trained in detecting bombs, disarming and disposal of improvised explosive devices.
“The knowledge and skills of our EOD personnel in the region were greatly enhanced through this initiative,” Mauricio said.
Aside from the blast investigation equipment and explosive incident countermeasure kits, he said the US State Department also donated a laptop computer and a 5-in-1 printer. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)