Police preparations underway for Sinulog-A A +A
Sunday, January 13, 2013
POLICEMEN in Cebu City are on heightened alert starting yesterday in time for the Sinulog weekend festivities.
Senior Supt. Mariano Natu-el Jr., officer-in-charge of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), said the alert will help them ensure the city’s biggest activity will be peaceful.
He told reporters he is mulling the possibility of creating a reaction unit that will respond to major incidents.
Police visibility will also be increased at the Basilica del Sto. Niño, the ports and bus terminals.
With millions of individuals expected to attend the Sinulog grand parade on Jan. 20, police have asked float administrators not to throw giveaways to the crowd to prevent a stampede.
“Let’s just hold it for a moment. We must be responsible to make the whole affair safe,” said Senior Supt. Louie Oppus, deputy director for operations of Police Regional Office (PRO) 7
Oppus warned detailed policemen not to leave their post or face relief and an investigation.
He also said they will not tolerate public drunkenness.
Cebu City Ordinance 512 prohibits drunkenness in public places and penalizes violators with imprisonment of not less than 30 days and a fine of not more than P200.
The Liquor Licensing Code of Cebu City also prohibits the selling of liquor in any public place like parks.
Natuel said they expect the crowd to number around four million this year, up from 500,000 last year.
He said they’ve already asked for 500 additional police personnel.
The CCPO and the PRO 7 will each field 1,000 personnel, in addition to the 99 field training policemen (FTP) on Jan. 20.
In a related development, Talisay City police officials will also beef up security around the city’s major business establishments during the Sinulog grand parade.
Insp. Margienette Yosores, deputy police chief of the Talisay City Police Station, said they are coordinating with the security team of major business establishments, particularly malls, in identifying suspected criminal elements outside their buildings.
“We asked security guards to be on the lookout for snatchers. We have police personnel roaming around and they will call the attention of people texting in the street or wearing expensive jewelry to be careful,” Yosores said in Cebuano.
She said they are also monitoring areas that are known to be criminal havens like the one under the Tabunok flyover.
She said Talisay City’s police force will be augmented by FTP.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 13, 2013.