SBMA, gov’t agencies conduct anti-terrorism exercise

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – As part of the national government’s thrust to thwart terrorism in the country, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), along with other government agencies jointly conducted a simulation exercise at the Subic Water Binictican Water Treatment Plant.

According to SBMA Chairman and Administrator Rolen C. Paulino, the Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Simulation Exercise 2022 was conducted by the Anti-Terrorism Council – Program Management Center (ATC-PMC) headed by the Project Management Office of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

The official added that the inter-agency simulation exercise series (IA Simex Series) included personnel from the DILG, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), ATC-PMC, Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Prevention (BFP), Disaster Risk Reduction Management Offices from Bataan and Zambales, Peace and Order Councils of LGUs, CBRN National Team Observers, Subic Water and Sewerage Company, Inc., and the SBMA.

Chairman Paulino further revealed, “The opening scenario during the CBRN Simex was a negotiation between the terrorist group who took over the Subic Water Binictican Water Treatment Plant with plans to contaminate the water supply of Olongapo City. The terrorist group demanded P10 million, along with the release of their comrades. A PNP negotiator then attempted to communicate with the terrorist group.”

“Should negotiations fail, the PNP will cordon off the area while the SBMA Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team conducts a meeting before an insertion operation Following the insertion, SWAT personnel then neutralize the terrorist threat and rescue hostages taken by the terrorists.

“Both the SWAT and the hostages are then thoroughly checked for any chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear contaminations before they are allowed to conduct further operations. Debriefing immediately follows after decontamination,” he said.

The official stated that the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams from the AFP and PNP scout the area for any explosive devices that the terrorist group may have left behind. The SBMA Fire Department and the BFP then carry out extraction of injured victims and live suspects using hazmat suits.

“Medical teams from the SBMA Public Health and Safety Department (PHSD) then immediately attend to the wounded victims, including the terrorists for medical attention,” Paulino said.

DILG Assistant Secretary Brig. Gen. Alexander Macario lauded the participation of various government agencies at the CBRN Simex 2022, citing that with a bit more polishing, the operation would be seamless. He added that the exercise is designed to meet the needs of the particular area in partnership with stakeholders.

“The exercise should support and develop exercise practitioners’ competency to plan, implement, and evaluate simulation exercises within the terrorist-related CBRN crisis field. This exercise also requires the active participation of representatives from both local and national government agencies, and include non-government units and stakeholders,” he said.