POLICE officials in Cebu described the Holy Week celebration this year as “generally peaceful” despite the ambush incident in Samboan involving a police officer and his sibling.
Cebu Provincial Police Office Director Manuel Abrugena said the incident in Samboan was “isolated” and did not, in any way, affect the implementation of their security plans.
Abrugena said he noticed that a lot of tourists flocked to Bantayan Island to spend their vacation there.
He said they did not spare personnel when it came to securing religious activities in Bantayan Island, including the solemn procession organized by the Sto. Niño Parish in Santa Fe town.
Bantayan Island also celebrates its annual fiesta during Holy Week.
The police official also ordered the deployment of more police personnel in larger parishes around the province.
“Generally peaceful naman po ang celebration ng ating Semana Santa 2019. Except for some isolated crime incidents, our security plan has been proven effective,” Abrugena added.
The observance of this year’s Holy Week was also peaceful in Cebu City.
Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Director Royina Garma said even though she is currently on leave, she continues to monitor the deployment of her personnel in various areas in the city.
Garma said 100 percent of CCPO personnel have been on duty since Holy Wednesday, April 17.
Much of CCPO’s deployment is concentrated on big parishes to secure the faithful attending religious activities like the dawn mass and Sugat, or “the reenactment of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ,” on Easter Sunday, April 21, she said.
The CCPO will ensure that criminal elements will not take advantage of people attending religious activities, especially on Easter Sunday, she added.
“Generally peaceful. Walang (no) major incident. The usual crimes committed in ordinary days lang,” Garma added.
Police will focus their security preparations on beaches and resorts on Easter Sunday since they expect many to flock to these places to celebrate the end of Lent.
Meanwhile, the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) reported no crime and no incidents during its implementation of Oplan Biyaheng Ayos 2019 to secure travelers’ safety during Holy Week.
It reported the normal influx of passengers and rolling cargoes plus good weather and calm sea conditions.
CPA Police Chief Glenn Sarador said one passenger bound for Ormoc City in Leyte suffered an asthma attack but she was reported okay after receiving medical attention.
According to the Philippine Coast Guard’s public information officer Mike Encina, they have been patrolling the waters off Cebu and Bohol.
He said passenger assistance was established through Malasakit Help Desks in ports and terminals throughout the province.
“There was no untoward incident and all the passengers went to their respective destinations safely,” Encina said. (FROM AYB, PAC OF SUPERBALITA CEBU / JKV, EOB)