Liquor ban set for feast of Black Nazarene in Oro

CAGAYAN de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno has issued two executive orders to ensure the safety and security of the public during the celebration of the feast of Black Nazarene on January 8 and 9.

Executive Orders (EO) 3 and 4, issued on Friday, January 5, dictate a liquor ban in the city and the regulation of the operation of aerial drones during the two-day feast.

Through EO 3, liquors are prohibited within 300-meter radius from the route of the traslacion of the image of the Black Nazarene from 5 p.m. of January 8 to 12 noon of January 9.

“We have on the liquor ban, we utilize our intelligence cooperatives, roving patrols, and also the tanods, to monitor the area,” Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) Director Robert Bahian said.

Bahian added that those who violate the order will be arrested.

EO 4, meanwhile, states that the operation of aerial drones shall be regulated in Barangays 1 to 40, Puntod, Lapasan, and Consolacion from 5 p.m. of January 8 to 12 noon of January 9.

The EO added that those who wish to operate aerial drones shall be required to get written permit from the Cocpo director.

Aside from the executive orders issued by the mayor, City Councilor Romeo Calizo, chairman of the committee on police, fire, and public safety, said a security plan is already in place which is spearheaded by Bahian, and a contingency plan and a traffic management plan has been prepared by the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Department.

“Just to ensure the security and safety of the people and the visitors, a lot of devotees not only from Cagayan de Oro but also from neighboring towns and provinces and maybe from Visayas, will be coming over to pay homage to the Black Nazarene,” Calizo said.

Bahian also said that based on the assessment of the National Security Assessment Board, which is composed of different intelligence community, major cities in the country, such as Cagayan de Oro City, Manila, and Davao, are on a high threat level.

Cocpo has also released guidelines for the public during the celebration of the feast of Black Nazarene:

- To avoid delay of the inspection, the public is advised to avoid bringing pack bags, umbrella, bull caps, scarfs, dark sunglasses, hooded jackets, non-transparent water containers, and other suspicious looking things.
- Drinking liquors, using illegal drugs, playing cards and bringing firearms are prohibited.
- Avoid wearing jewelries and other expensive items.
- To avoid getting hurt in case of riot, senior citizens, children, persons with disabilities and pregnant women are urged to proceed directly to the church instead of joining the Traslacion.
- The public is also advised to wear comfortable shoes and not slippers when joining the procession.
- Sidewalk vendors are not allowed in the route of the procession.
- Avoid littering and saying bomb jokes.
- Always bring your ID cards, medical information and contact number of your family or guardian which can be used during emergencies.
- Wear comfortable clothes.
- Bring your personal food and water.
- Report any and all suspicious activity to security and police personnel through Cocpo hotline: 0936 401 7888 and 858 3085 or through Facebook: pcru_cocpo

Bahian said an estimated 200,000 devotees are expected to join the celebration of the feast of Black Nazarene.

He added that a sufficient number of policemen will be in the area to guarantee the safety and security of the public.

“As far as the city peace and order council is concerned, we already prepared an appropriate plan. And kailangan lang masabtan ang mga limitasyon nga gipantuman sa atoang mga (People only need to understand the limits enforced by our) security forces, if only to ensure the safety of the devotees and also those who will attend the celebration of the feast,” Calizao said.

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