By Lilian C. Mellejor
DAVAO CITY, July 4 (PNA) –- Task Force (TF) Davao has acquired an aerial drone from the Philippine Army for their use in anti-terrorism and disaster and emergency response in the city.
At a media conference and briefing on how to counter terrorism on Friday (July 4), TF Davao Commander Col. Alberto Macairog said the aerial drone was given to them by the Philippine Army but, he quickly dismissed speculations it will be used for information gathering against rebel groups.
Macairog said the aerial drone will be helpful to aid them in getting information relating to disaster incidents as they are also have a role to provide humanitarian assistance during emergency operations.
We can get the kind of information from the topview, he told the media, emphasizing that the equipment is not the US-type made but came from other sources.
“The US is not the only one involved in operating drones. This is cheaper – it has nothing to do with US,” Macairog said.
Macairog affirmed that Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is aware that they were given an aerial drone. He further stressed that the equipment will not be used against the people of the city.
Central 911 chief Emmanuel Jaldon said they would also use the aerial drone is helpful in times of response time during emergencies.
According to Jaldon, they need topographic assessment of disasters. With the tool, Jaldon said they scan the areas affected by a disaster.
Jaldon pointed out that the equipment will only be used only during mapping of disaster areas for better assessment of the situation.
It may be recalled that Public Security and Safety Command Center (PSSCC) chief Francisco Villaroman has recommended to Duterte the use of aerial drones as a tool in disaster and emergency response.
Villaroman even used an aerial drone – the Quad Copter Phantom 2, to assess the damage areas of Isla Verde after it gutted by fire in April.
The mayor was then undecided whether to acquire the equipment considering the price of around P80, 000. (PNA)