Army in Bicol on Red Alert for Pope’s Visit

CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur – The 9th Infantry (Spear) Division is on red alert status beginning January 10, following the AFP’s declaration in preparation for the Papal visit in Eastern Visayas and Metro Manila.

A team from the 2nd Infantry Battalion in Albay was sent to the Office of the Civil Defense-5 last January 9, bringing with them a military truck and rescue equipment, to augment the troops that will provide security during the Papal Visit in Tacloban. They will form part of the Incident Management Team in Tacloban City along with other partner agencies and volunteers. An additional of two company size troop will also be deployed as augmentation to the security forces there.

Moreover, the 9th Infantry Battalion, led by Lt Col Lenart Lelina, is at Camp Aguinaldo today ready to be deployed as buffer crowd control and part to the AFP’s security preparations in Metro Manila. The battalion, covering security operations in the Masbate province, has just undergone Peacekeeping Operations training for UN deployment. Rear forces of 9IB are still continuing internal peace and security operations in Masbate.

Meanwhile, Colonel Cesar Idio, Commander of 903rd Bde, committed his troops after planning with the Joint Security and Peace and Order of Sorsogon and Masbate Police Provincial Offices which cover security patrols, joint checkpoints and joint Motorist Assistance Centers (MACs) to ensure the safety and security of motorists and devotees especially at sea ports and bus terminals to preempt any threats or hostile passengers that may sow violence. The troops also linked up with coast guards, and the provincial and municipal disaster risk reduction management councils for any eventuality.

Maj Gen Yerson E Depayso, Commander of the 9th Infantry Division, said that all Army units in Bicol are in red alert status in preparation for the Pope’s visit and directed all Commanders to intensify security operations for any untoward incidents.

“Our troops are ready to support other agencies, as necessary, as to make sure that the event will be peaceful and orderly” he said.

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(Photo By: DPAO, 9ID, PA)

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