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AFP, Palace ask for public’s cooperation

President Rodrigo Duterte and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have called on the public to remain calm and at the same time cooperate with authorities amidst the security crisis that recently befell Davao City.

Duterte declared a state of lawlessness shortly after 15 people were killed while 71 others got injured in a deadly explosion which happened inside a crowded night market along Roxas Avenue in Davao City.

“Huminto kayo sa mga checkpoints … if you see a sign and there are soldiers (or policemen) flashing their lights, turn off your headlights, switch on (the) light inside your car because I am authorizing them to search,” said Duterte.

“I am suggesting that you be liberal enough to understand … because we are trying to cope up with a crisis now,” he added.

Marine Col. Edgard A. Arevalo said that the post-blast investigation by the Philippine National Police (PNP) is also underway and it is expected to come up with conclusive, official findings.

Arevalo said related to that pronouncement, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Ricardo Visaya has also placed the entire AFP on red alert.

“He directed all Area Commanders to coordinate with their counterparts at the Philippine National Police (PNP). He likewise ordered them to coordinate with Regional Directors of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to convene the Regional Peace and Order Council to tackle the directive of President Duterte.

“We once again ask for the cooperation of the public as we tackle this affront to our democracy,” Arevalo said. (Francis T Wakefield and Elena Aben)