Monday, September 24, 2018

Archbishop’s gate closed, but walk-ins welcome

Outside the Archbishop’s Palace (SunStar Photo/Amper Campaña)

CEBU Archbishop Jose Palma will continue to welcome walk-in visitors to the Archbishop’s Palace but only after they have passed through screening at the front gate.

Msgr. Joseph Tan, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Cebu, said that despite the fatal shooting of a man who tried to seek an audience with the archbishop last Tuesday morning, Palma has no plan to increase security measures in his official residence.

The archbishop, he said, may decline the police’s offer to provide him with police escorts.

Once Archbishop Palma returns to Cebu on Friday, he plans to visit the wake of Jefrey Cañedo, whom the police shot and killed last Tuesday. Palace staff called the police after they noticed that Cañedo, who asked to speak with the archbishop, had a gun. The shootout occurred when Cañedo allegedly pulled out his gun after yelling at the police. Cañedo died on the spot.

Police Regional Office 7 Director Debold Sinas said the incident was isolated but that he will still offer to assign police escorts to the archbishop.

“The Archbishop’s Palace has no threat from any organization or any person,” the chief superintendent told reporters.

Sinas denied that the Cebu City Mobile Patrol Group (MPG) used excessive force against Cañedo, who was depressed because of a marital problem.

He also ordered Cebu City Police Office Director Royina Garma to question Cañedo’s father Feliciano, a retired police officer.

Cebu City Police Station 2 Chief Maria Theresa Macatangay said that Feliciano admitted he owned the gun holster and knife that his son had with him. But Feliciano denied owning the unlicensed .38 revolver.

Two uniformed police officers were deployed outside the Archbishop’s Palace, while two in plain clothes were assigned inside the compound.

The archbishop, however, already has “substantial” security, Tan explained. When out of town, Archbishop Palma is accompanied by a driver, a personal aide and a security aide.

“The archbishop will still receive walk-in guests even without an appointment if there is time in between his meetings.”