Thursday, 12 January 2012 11:41
Police assured Sinulog security preparations are in place and that they’ve received no reported terrorist threats, similar to what provoked the suspension of cellphone signals during a religious feast in Manila last Monday.
”We will ensure that spectators and devotees will have peace of mind rather than having fear during the revelry,” said Senior Supt. Melvin Ramon Buenafe, head of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO).
He said more than 10,000 security personnel, including the police and army, will be mobilized throughout the parade route.
Police visibility will also be stepped up at the Basilica del Sto. Nino, ports and bus terminals.
To beef up security forces, fraternity groups, private firms and barangay officials will help maintain peace and order.
The police will be conducting saturation drives against those caught with violations and with existing warrants.
Buenafe stressed out that drunkenness in public during the Sinulog revelry will be prohibited.
City Ordinance 512, which prohibits drunkenness in public places, penalizes violators with imprisonment of not less than 30 days and a fine of not more than P200.
Under the Liquor Licensing Code of Cebu City, it is also prohibited to sell liquor in any public place like parks.
Drunkenness can set off undue disturbance and discomfort among residents of neighboring areas and can inflict injury against another person or destroy public or private property.
Meanwhile, the whole province was also placed under red alert in preparation for the festivities.
Supt. Rodolfo Albotra Jr., chief of the Cebu Provincial Police Office-Provincial Intelligence Branch (CPPO-PIB), said they have not received any reports of terrorist movement in the province.
Police offices and units, he said, will conduct regular checkpoints.
”Cebu is very remote, but then it is not a reason we will not take precautionary measures,” said Albotra.
He said all the police stations were ordered to monitor their areas of responsibility and the CCPO is tapping its Barangay Intelligence Network (BIN) members in monitoring suspicious-looking persons.
Last Friday, a 21-day gun ban was enforced in Cebu City. All permits to carry firearms outside the residence are suspended, as approved by PNP Director General Nicanor Bartolome last Thursday. The gun ban will be lifted after Jan. 25.
The police, military and security guards are allowed to carry firearms as long as they are in uniforms and on duty.
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