Strict security measures underway for PGMA's scheduled visit to Cotabato

July 16, 2009 9:23 am 

By Noel Y. Punzalan

COTABATO CITY, July 16 – Security measures in this city and the near environs remain tight in anticipation of President Gloria Macapagal–Arroyo’s visit here and to nearby Awang airport in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao on Friday.

“Government forces in Cotabato and the rest of Mindanao were ordered to be on full alert due to the President’s visit to this area tomorrow,” Lt. Col. Jonathan Ponce, Army’s 6th Infantry Division spokesperson, said in an interview.

Ponce added that military checkpoints were doubled even as deployment of government troops was beefed up since Tuesday within the South Central Mindanao region to fully protect the President against any untoward incident that may arise during her visit here.

Mrs. Arroyo’s visit to Cotabato is her first in Mindanao following the spate of bombings that rocked the cities of Cotabato and Iligan, and the town of Jolo, Sulu, over the past two weeks.

While here, the President is expected to meet with city officials and the local anti-terrorism task force to discuss matters about the fight against terrorism.

The Chief Executive is also expected to extend financial assistance to the victims of the July 5 bombing in front of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral here that killed five persons and injured more than 40 others.

Later on same day, the President would inaugurate the newly-completed arrival waiting area at the Awang airport built with the countryside development fund of Maguindanao 1st District Representative Didagen Dilangalen. (PNA)

LAP/NYP/

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