Signal shutdown mulled at Dinagyang festival
ILOILO CITY – Citing security reasons, the Police Regional Office-Western Visayas (PRO-6) asked the Iloilo City government anew to consider a signal shutdown of telecommunications network during the major events of the Dinagyang Festival.
Brig. Gen. Sidney Villaflor, PRO-6 director, said in a press conference Monday that the earlier request of the Iloilo City Police Office for a signal shutdown was “somehow denied” by the Sangguniang Panlungsod (City Council), prompting him to submit an appeal.
“On our part as law enforcers, we are just appealing and doing our job because the signal shutdown may be a tone for any group or persons who have nefarious plans to do bad things during Dinagyang, during the highlight of the activity,” Villaflor said.
Although he did not say that there is an imminent threat, he said law enforcement agencies are monitoring if groups or individuals are planning to disrupt the celebrations.
He said he would elevate the matter to the national headquarters should the local government unit (LGU) stand firm on its denial of the signal shutdown request.
Villaflor said there will also be a signal shutdown during the highlights of the Ati-Atihan Festival in Kalibo, Aklan.
Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, in a separate press conference, said he would talk to Villaflor about the matter.
He said the council will not budge, given the effects of the shutdown last year when there was no signal even in neighboring municipalities.
“I think Iloilo has been safe. Among the cities in the Philippines and the cities and LGUs in Western Visayas, I think Iloilo was the only one declared insurgency-free by both the police and the Army,” Treñas said.
In the meantime, Villaflor turned over 2,417 reflectorized raincoats and 2,000 whistles worth PHP2.64 million to various police stations in the region following Monday’s flag-raising ceremony at the PRO-6 headquarters here.
Each police station received 18 general purpose raincoats, except for the Malay Municipal Police Station which got 40 and the Regional Mobile Force Battalion headquarters and its line companies with 10 each. (PNA)