A total of 14 bomb-sniffing dogs underwent proficiency exercise recently at the Task Force (TF) Davao headquarters here to test their operational capability during emergencies.
Maj. Clifton Tangonan, civil-military operations officer of the TF Davao, said eight K-9s from the Emergency Response Center Central 911, one from the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) and five from TF Davao showed their capabilities to detect hidden explosives in one of the three vehicles parked in the military facility.
Aside from electronic detectors and human judgment, dogs play a crucial role in determining the contraband, particularly explosive devices and components hidden in vehicles.
Tangonan recalled that a K-9 detected the presence of several rounds ammunition inside the trunk of a taxi when it passed by a TF Davao checkpoint, prompting authorities to investigate further.
In September this year, a bomb-sniffing dog alerted authorities toward a trunk of a Maligaya Taxi from Digos City bound for Davao City. The taxicab was immediately stopped by soldiers at the Barangay Sirawan detachment located at the boundary of Davao del Sur and Davao City.
Tangonan said the team recovered 300 live ammunition and 50 bullets for .45 caliber pistol and .22 caliber guns, respectively. It was later found out that the cargo had the necessary papers but was left behind by the taxi’s passenger.
“We have to check the operational capability of our K-9s every now and then,” he said.
Tangonan said the K9s are now regularly used in clearing venues for public functions to ensure public safety.