Security preps in place for Cebu’s Fiesta Señor
CEBU, Philippines — Around 6,000 police personnel from the region will be deployed in the city for the annual Sinulog festivity.
The Basilica Minore del Santo Niño community, in coordination with the Police Regional Office (PRO)-7, Philippine Coast Guard-7 and other Law enforcement agencies, had laid down the final security measures for the upcoming Sinulog 2020 Celebration.
In the press conference at the Basilica Monday morning, PRO-7 Regional Director Valeriano T. De Leon told the reporters that they are ready to deploy around 6,000 police personnel coming from the different provinces and cities of Central Visayas.
De Leon said that aside from these, they will be also getting security compliments from the other security commands.
He added that they are set as well to re-visit the security preparations to make sure that every possible threat will be properly addressed.
One of the security threats that the PRO-7 is preparing is the possible stampede during the celebration. He also does not discount the idea of the possible terrorist attack.
He, however, assured that they will be intensifying their monitoring and that all security details are now in place.
Meanwhile, Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Director Engelbert Soriano said they are set to deploy 303 police personnel in the Basilica alone starting tomorrow.
De Leon said persons with backpacks may now be allowed entry to the Basilica, however, they would have to pass through a special lane meant for the inspections that might probably cause delay to the devotees.
“If we start giving an exemption to anyone mag-fi-fail yung policy kaya no backpack policy….Pero tulad ng sabi ko doon sa mga hindi maiiwasan, we will provide a special lane for inspection,” De Leon said.
De Leon emphasized that either the backpack will be transparent or not, it will undergo the same manner of inspection.
Meanwhile, the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño as well has laid down the specific things to remember in some of the Sinulog events, including the fluvial procession and Traslacion.
Reverend Father Aladdin P. Luzon said that some of the practices before will be re-implemented, just like the pedestrian flow.
Masses will start at 4 a.m. and will end at 7 p.m.
City Councilor David Tumulak, for his part, has urged the Cebuanos to help in maintaining public order and safety during the nine-day novena mass for the Fiesta Señor.
The nine-day novena mass will start tomorrow at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu.
Tumulak encouraged the devotees who will attend the novena mass to heed to the Clear Bag Policy implemented by the Cebu City Police Office.
He said the CCPO has requested that, to avoid delay, it is much better for the devotees not to bring bags anymore since they will be subjected to inspection before entering the basilica.
He also mentioned that they already deployed ambulances not only in the basilica area but all over the city.
“Naa na tay roving ambulances to respond to any emergency,” said Tumulak.
Tumulak, who is also the Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction Management chairman, disclosed that the additional police force is already in place for the Sinulog 2020 festivities.
“Nangabot na sad ang gikan sa other provinces. Actually karon dunay mangabot, 600 kabuok,” said Tumulak.
Even though there is police visibility in the streets, Tumulak reminded the public to be more vigilant at all times.
“Dunay police visibility sa kadalanan, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the police can secure us,” he said.
Tumulak is requesting the barangays and individuals in the city to help in ensuring that peace and order will prevail by means of information gathering.
He said it is better for the public to report to the nearest police station if there are suspicious persons in their community for verification purposes or if there are any unusual happenings. (FREEMAN)