141 arrested during Sinulog
CEBU, Philippines — At least 141 people were arrested in Cebu City on the day of the Sinulog Grand Parade last Sunday for alarm and scandal and for violating the liquor ban.
Of this number, 10 are minors, said Cebu City Police Director Royina Garma.
Garma said among those they arrested was a parade spectator who was throwing his shoe into the air during the Grand Parade. Unfortunately, the shoe landed right where the cops were stationed.
“I understand na party mode talaga pero may iba kasi na sobrang nag-wild na and nadadamay yung mga peaceful lang na nanunuod ng parade (I understand that spectators were on a party mode but there were those who went wild and were disturbing those who were watching the parade peacefully,” Garma said.
Garma said keeping the parade in order was a big challenge to the police because there were spectators who would resist the cordon purposely to get near floats, especially those with actors on board.
She suggested that the city consider shortening the parade route and for performers and people on board floats not to throw souvenir items to the crowd so as not to create a commotion.
“Kahit kendi lang ihagis ng artista, magkagubot na (Even just a candy from an actor would create furor),” Garma said.
Other spectators would cross the street and disrupt the parade as a result.
Garma also observed that umbrellas can even cause conflict because spectators at the back of crowds would complain when umbrellas cover their view of the parade.
Garma hatched the possibility of not bringing umbrellas during the Sinulog Grand Parade.
“Dapat rain or shine walang payong. I-respeto mo naman yung nanunuod din sa likod nyo (Rain or shine, don’t bring umbrellas. Respect those at your back),” she said.
Michael Lagahit, 30, one of those arrested for violating the liquor ban, said he was mistaken to have served his customers hard drinks. He was selling barbeque at that time.
He said it was the vendors near him who were serving liquor.
“Di sad mi ka-blame sa polis kay trabaho man na nila pero unta, tarungon unta ba kay maangin tong wala gyud niinom (We cannot blame the police because that’s their job but they should do it properly because they were already arresting those who were not drinking liquor),” Lagahit said.
Another arrestee, Ramon Roda, 35, admitted drinking liquor together with eight of his friends.
Still, Garma considered the Grand Parade to be “generally peaceful.”
“The whole day event yesterday, I will consider it as successful and generally peaceful kasi nobody got hurt even if may mga kunting commotion medyo nagwild lang yung mga tao sa tuwa siguro and we were able to disperse them peacefully without hurting anyone,” sigun ni Garma.
Meanwhile, Mayor Tomas Osmeña eyes expanding the coverage of the prohibition against the holding of parties during the Sinulog festival following the reported death of a teenager from drug overdose.
“We are going to discourage these kinds of activities that will contribute the proliferation or overusing of drugs,” Osmeña told reporters yesterday.
The city government has banned parties within the 300-meter radius along the Sinulog Grand Parade route to ensure a “smooth and orderly” festival.
Executive Order No. 44 that Osmeña issued banned concerts, shows, performances, gigs, recitals, events, street parties, and putting up of loud speakers and other sound devices during the Sinulog Grand Parade.
It also banned liquor along the Grand Parade route from 6 a.m. of January 20 to 6 a.m. of January 21.
In a resolution it passed last year, the City Council also urged establishments along the parade route not to hold parties from 6 a.m. of January 19, 2019 until 6 a.m. of January 21.
But with the death of the teenager, Osmeña said it might be better to expand the coverage of the prohibition.
“Yes, we have to control it. It’s a question of dosage. We don’t just want to block everything for the sake of blocking. But we have to draw the line at what point where we create a situation that there is a risk, to draw the line,” he said.
Meanwhile, Osmeña said he will let the police deal with a report that an establishment along Juana Osmeña Street organized a party last Sunday.
“Naa’y badlungon sa may Juana Osmeña St. dapit nga nagpadayon gihapon pagsigi og street party,” said Councilor David Tumulak, chairman of the City Council’s committee on public order and safety.
Tumulak said a department head of the city government was able to take a photo of the party and reported the matter to him. (FREEMAN)