Agusan del Norte mulls ‘stricter’ curfew

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The local government of Agusan del Norte is planning to implement curfew hours from 12 midnight to 4 a.m. in line with the declaration of martial law in the entire Mindanao, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said on Tuesday.

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DILG-Caraga Regional Director Lilibeth Famacion reported to acting DILG secretary Catalino Cuy that Agusan del Norte’s Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) has enacted a resolution recommending the curfew hours in the entire province.

Agusan del Norte is at least 275 kilometers or six hours and 30 minutes away from Marawi City, where clashes are ongoing between the military and the local terrorist Maute group.

Even with the distance, Famacion said, imposition of curfew hours will “prevent and suppress local terrorism” in the Caraga region including drug-related incidents and lawless violence.

However, Agusan del Norte’s PPOC said the Philippine National Police is strictly implementing “Oplan Sita,” described as a police operation that entails conducting unannounced searches of motorists to track down their previous and most recent crimes they may have committed.

Joint checkpoints were also intensified in the whole province; security operations are conducted while establishments are all placed under tightened security.

Local government units and non-government agencies were also required to coordinate first with the proper authorities before embarking on monitoring activities and field works.

The PPOC also reminded travelers to “take the necessary precautions” when traveling within the province and avoid conflict-affected and far-flung areas.

Large group activities and participation in late night activities were also prohibited in the province.

The provincial government also asked the public to bring valid identification cards, driver’s licenses, registration permits, license to own and possess firearms, permits in carrying firearms and other necessary documents every time they go out of their houses.

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