Authorities rounded up about 250 people yesterday (Thursday, May 25) after receiving tip-offs about the presence of “suspicious-looking persons”.
Joint forces of the Task Force Davao and the Davao City Police Office swooped on the barangays of Bucana and Mini-Forest in early morning raids.
Davao City Police Office (DCPO) director Senior Supt. Alexander Tagum said: “We are conducting verification of a written report that some unidentified persons reportedly entered the area. And that’s why we’re here to verify the identification of these people.”
Tagum said the individuals were considered “persons of interest” since they could not present proof of identification.
He added that the officials of the two barangays could not verify the identities of those rounded up.
The “persons of interest” are now at the DCPO headquarters to undergo a “verification process.” They are not under arrest.
Tagum said their operation is part of their effort to prevent the entry of terrorists in one of Mindanao’s biggest cities.
On May 24, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said the city is on a “hold and secure” status, meaning the local government is preventing a spillover of the violence in Marawi City from reaching Davao.
She said: “It’s not impossible that if they want to divert the attention from what is happening in Marawi, they would want to do it here in Davao City because number one, the President lives here.”
Government forces and members of the Maute group have been engaged in sporadic firefights in Marawi City since Tuesday.
To date, there are 22 dead — 13 from the Maute group and nine government troops, officials said.