Mandaue police assess security in churches, malls

Mandaue police assess security in churches, malls
Photo by Honey Cotejo

THE Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) is taking steps to ensure the safety and security of churches and malls in Mandaue during the upcoming Holy Week celebrations.

In an interview with the media on Wednesday, March 20, 2024, Police Colonel Julius Sagandoy, new director of the MCPO, said that they will be focusing specifically on protecting these areas of convergence where people tend to gather to celebrate the occasion.

Sagandoy said it is important to ensure that no untoward incidents occur that could potentially ruin the solemnity of the occasion, particularly for Catholic devotees.

The Holy Week 2024 celebration will begin on March 24 with Palm Sunday and end on March 31 with Easter Sunday.

On Wednesday, March 20, Sagandoy and the rest of the MCPO visited some of the city's churches to assess each place and determine the number of security personnel that would be needed.

They also visited Pajara Park under the Marcelo Fernan also known as the second Mactan-Mandaue bridge in Barangay Umapad.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Mercy Villaro, spokesperson for the MCPO, said they initially planned to deploy around 500 police personnel to implement security measures for the Holy Week celebrations.

The MCPO has shared a list of 15 specific areas in Mandaue that they will focus on, including churches such as the National Shrine of St. Joseph Church in Barangay Centro, Christ the King Church in Barangay Alang-Alang, Sto. Niño Parish in Barangay Paknaan, Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Barangay Basak, Sacred Heart Church in Barangay Jagobiao, Nativity of Mary Parish in Barangay Canduman, Gethsemani Church in Barangay Casuntingan, Holy Family Church in Barangay Maguikay, and San Roque Parish in Barangay Subangdaku.

The list also includes malls such as Pacific Mall in Barangay Ibabao-Estancia, Insular Square Mall in Barangay Basak, Gaisano Mall in Barangay Casuntingan, and Parkmall in Barangay Tipolo.

Recreational places like West Town Lagoon in Barangay Tipolo, including the Pajara Park, are also part of the list.

Sagandoy said they will also get support from force multipliers like the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and Mandaue City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MCDRRMO), among others.

Aside from the foot patrol, the MCPO will also strengthen its ongoing mobile police visibility patrol, which has already been conducted.

Sagandoy said they also instructed police officers to patrol residential areas to prevent robbery cases during the Holy Week because people tend to leave their homes either to return to their provinces or visit religious places, making their homes vulnerable to theft.

Sagandoy also advised the citizens of Mandaue to secure their homes and important belongings before traveling to distant places to celebrate the Holy Week.

He advised the public to leave as early as possible to avoid the surge of Holy Week travelers and any inconvenience that may arise. (HIC)


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