POLICE Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Noli Taliño defended the temporary shutdown of cell sites during the Miss Universe swimsuit presentation in Lapu-Lapu City last Tuesday.

He said the tourism industry will be affected if there is an incident caused by terrorists.

He said the public “generally accepted” the shutdown as part of the police’s measures in securing the contestants.

A government official, he added, even praised their move.

Taliño said they did not receive any specific threat, but he added that terrorists can strike anytime in crowded places.

The shutdown was meant to foil any attempt by terrorists to detonate a bomb using a cell phone.

Some netizens who are living or working in Mandaue City expressed their disapproval of the signal shutdown.

The National Telecommunications Commission had approved the shutdown as one of the means to secure the annual pageant’s contestants.

During the Sinulog weekend last Jan. 14 and 15, several cell sites were also shut off.

Mayor Paz Radaza, in a separate interview, said she’s thankful and contented with the security provided during the event.

Radaza said the City was happy to serve as hosts for the 86 Miss Universe candidates.

The City Government, she said, is expecting a high number of tourists visiting Lapu-Lapu soon because of the event’s success.

Tourism chief Hembler Mendoza said it only shows that the city can handle international events.

Radaza attributed the successful holding of the event, among others, to the temporary shutdown of cell sites.

“It’s the easiest way to secure the candidates,” she said. With Miguel Ermac, USJ-R Intern