No bags, no facial covers-A A +A
Saturday, August 17, 2013
IF YOU want to enjoy the fiesta activities, better not bring bags or cover your face or eyes in public, a police official said Friday.
Although it is not unlawful to carry a bag and wear a cap and sunglasses when going out, but police are urging the people not to do so as threats of another bomb attack still loom as the city’s annual fiesta on August 27 and 28 draws near, said Superintendent Michael John Deloso.
Deloso, chief of the investigation and detective management branch of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo), said individuals who want to join or watch the fiesta activities are asked to avoid bringing backpack or the like and wearing sunglasses and ball caps.
Deloso said this measure is to ensure that anyone who is planning on sabotaging the festivities could easily be identified.
“The threat is still there, and it is the order from higher ups to beef up our security during the fiesta. Nahitabo man gud ang bombing nga hapit na ang fiesta,” Deloso said.
He said if possible, people would not bring with them bags so they would not be delayed from going in and out of the fiesta activity venues.
“Wala man kini sa balaud nga bawal ang pagdala ug bag, pagsuot sa sunglasses o kalo, but we discourage it just this time, during the conduct of the activities,” Deloso appealed.
He said Police Chief Inspector Lemuel Gonda, head of Cocpo’s operations and plans branch, is closely coordinating with all the organizers of the fiesta activities to report or inform the police of the upcoming activities for their security.
Gonda, in earlier interviews, said hundreds of uniformed and non-uniformed police officers are deployed in all corners of the city, including the deployment of K-9 dogs.
Gonda said the people should cooperate in the stricter scrutiny of all their belongings to prevent any repeat of the July 26 bombing.
Mayor Oscar Moreno earlier said the people must bear with the policies of authorities during the celebration, “if they really want to celebrate the fiesta (peacefully and safely).”
Avelino Leonis, 49, a security guard, said he would feel “discriminated” if his bag is searched when entering a festivity venue.
He said security guards don't go home with their uniforms still on or go on duty from home dressed with their uniforms.
"Bags are a necessity for us. What if we want to watch the parade or boxing match and we just got out from work, should we leave our clothing just so we could not bring our bag)?" he asked.
"The police should be on extra alert when they inspect the bags. No one should be spared," he added.
But Leonis said he understands the situation in Cagayan de Oro, saying: "There is nothing I could do if my bag is inspected."
"It’s better that way so that perpetrators could not get away from the police," he added.
Rex Padere, 36, an operator of a printing machine, said "it's unfair."
"Not wearing cap or shades is okay, but without a bag is a no-no. Where will I put my things? I usually watch fiesta activities. I even attend mass, and I always bring my bag for my stuff," he said.
Like Leonis, Padere admitted he should cooperate with authorities, "tutal karong pista ra man sab tingali na, diba? Okay na lang."
‘Boy Christian,’ a youth who is fond of wearing sunglasses with his backpack on when he goes out from home to attend major events in Cagayan de Oro, criticize the authorities by saying, "bad kaayo sila."
"Hayahay ba sab. Bahala'g mag-away mi sa pulis... ngano magbuot lugar sila sa akoa? Where is democracy after all?" he jokingly said Friday morning.
"Dili gani kabuot akong parents sa akoa...giundang na gani ko ug eskwela kay daghan bawal, bawalan pa gyud ko sa pulis? Kapwa kaayo sila diha," he added.
‘Kapwa’ is a popular term describing a lazy person who wants everything for free.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 17, 2013.