By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Following bomb simulation exercise (SIMEX) scenarios at the Bacolod City Government Center (BCGC) and the old Bacolod City Hall yesterday, Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) acting director, Police Senior Superintendent Jack Wanky, said several vulnerabilities were revealed.
In a press conference after the exercises, Wanky said the BCPO currently lacks personnel with proper experience handling explosives, with explosives expert Demi Montoyo as the only individual with the ability to safely dispose of and defuse such devices.
The BCPO chief said he had previously requested Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) personnel from Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame.
He pointed out, the department also lacks a proper EOD suit, which serves as protection for the individual defusing the bomb.
During the exercise, Montoyo was seen wearing a bulletproof vest and a tactical helmet.
Wanky also stressed the lack of bomb-sniffing dogs, in which they still have to request the help of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in order to comb areas for additional explosives.
The BCPO is currently accepting dogs to be trained as bomb-sniffing dogs, specifically seeking labrador retrievers.
Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, meanwhile, said he will find a way for the BCPO to have their own K-9 unit./WDJ