Davao churchgoers will not be allowed to bring backpacks
Authorities will implement a “no backpack policy” among churchgoers in Davao City following the bloody twin bombing in a Catholic church in Sulu last Sunday.
Lt. Col. Ezra Balagtey, spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Eastern Mindanao Command, the new policy was based on the advisory of Archdiocese of Davao City issued by Bishop Romulo Valles and order of Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Balagtey said Major Gen. Felimon Santos Jr., head of the Eastern Mindanao Command, said the no backpack policy “will strengthen the implementation of Martial Law and contributes in the attainment of the objective of preventing terrorism.”
"We appreciate the advisory and directive of the Catholic Church and Davao City as it strengthens the implementation of martial law in Davao City. It provides our implementing units additional legal basis and authority in preventing terrorism, and ensuring the safety and well-being of our people,” Santos said.
“We want to assure everyone that our soldiers assisting the police will be prudent in the conduct of implementation of the policy,” he added.
Balagtey said Santos also directed soldiers to be culture and gender sensitive and stick to the principles of martial law implementation.
“The security of everyone matters, we must, however, be gender and culturally sensitive. Always be reminded to adhere to the principles we have set in the implementation of Martial Law which are rule of law, necessity, proportionality, and respect for human rights,” he said. Robina Asido/DMS