THE Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) will patrol the city to strictly enforce the curfew on minors starting at 10 p.m. today, December 15.
This is part of their security setup for the Misa de Gallo that will start in various churches in the city at dawn on Saturday, December 16.
The reason behind this, according to Police Lieutenant Colonel Janette Rafter, deputy city director for operations of the CCPO, is to keep young people off the streets, especially those who are under the influence of liquor or drugs.
Rafter, however, said that those minors escorted by their family to attend mass or buy medicine are exempted from curfew.
She clarified that some youth groups, including fraternity members, consume alcohol before they go to church, putting them at risk of causing disturbances when they run into rival groups during mass.
Last December 22, 2022, a man who was caught in the crossfire between two rival youth gangs in Barangay Parian, Cebu City died later in the hospital.
The victim was walking home with his wife after attending a Misa de Gallo (dawn mass) at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral when he was hit by a stray bullet.
There are 34 churches in the city, 22 of which are large parishes, according to the CCPO inventory.
Rafter stated that in order to protect parishioners during dawn masses, police officers, Task Force Kasaligan volunteers, and force multipliers—including barangay tanods—will be stationed in churches.
During the Misa de Gallo, about 60 personnel from the Police Regional Office 7 will also assist the CCPO in securing the churches. (AYB, TPT)