Ter­ror­ism among rea­sons for street party ban

Cebu City Mayor To­mas Os­meña ad­mit­ted that the im­ple­men­ta­tion of safety mea­sures for Sin­u­log 2018 is be­cause of the pos­si­ble spillover of ter­ror­ism threat from ISIS-in­spired Maute ban­dits to Cebu.

The Freeman - - NEWS - — Jean Marvette A. De­me­cillo and Mae Cly­dyl L. Avila/ MBG

Os­meña has an­nounced that he will not tol­er­ate all es­tab­lish­ments that will vi­o­late the ban on liquor and street party within the 300-me­ter ra­dius of the Sin­u­log route next year.

“Es­sen­tially, (it’s for) crowd con­trol. A ma­jor con­sid­er­a­tion is a pos­si­bil­ity of a det­o­na­tion of a bomb be­cause there is no way we can ex­am­ine what ev­ery­body is bring­ing to the pa­rade,” he told re­porters.

Os­meña said it is bet­ter to split the crowd to avoid a stam­pede, among other pos­si­ble in­ci­dents.

He said the city has to di­vert the rowdy por­tion to an­other area which is at South Road Prop­er­ties where lo­ca­tors can host big events dur­ing Sin­u­log fes­tiv­ity.

“If noth­ing hap­pens, ev­ery­one will blame me for be­ing KJ (kill joy). I don’t care basta I’m re­ally ter­ri­fied be­cause the ter­ror­ists are badly hurt in Marawi and they have ev­ery mo­ti­va­tion to re­tal­i­ate,” he said.

“One way I could do is tem­per­ing the mer­ri­ment and ask peo­ple to be very cau­tious about strangers mov­ing to your neigh­bor­hood, be cau­tious about items left in the side­walk,” he added.

Os­meña said the city may also im­ple­ment the shut­ting down of cell sites in se­lected ar­eas for se­cu­rity pur­poses just like what was done dur­ing big events in Cebu this year.

How­ever, Cebu City Po­lice Of­fice (CCPO) is not very sold to the idea of hav­ing telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion sig­nals jammed dur­ing the Sin­u­log fes­tiv­i­ties next year.

Supt. Artemio Ri­cabo, CCPO Deputy Di­rec­tor for Ad­min­is­tra­tion, said do­ing so will pre­vent “ef­fi­cient” com­mu­ni­ca­tion among cops who might need to call for backup in case an un­to­ward in­ci­dent hap­pens.

As for the busi­ness es­tab­lish­ments that were sup­posed to be closed this year, Os­meña said he tol­er­ated these busi­nesses to con­tinue op­er­at­ing but hopes that his warn­ing will be taken se­ri­ously.

Next year, Os­meña said the clo­sure of the busi­nesses will be im­ple­mented if es­tab­lish­ments will vi­o­late the ex­ec­u­tive or­der that will be is­sued ban­ning liquors and street par­ties within the 300-me­ter ra­dius of the Sin­u­log route.

The Sin­u­log grand pa­rade starts on Imus Road to Gen. Max­ilom Av­enue, to Fuente Os­meña, down to Os­meña Boule­vard and then to the Cebu City Sports Cen­ter for the ri­tual pre­sen­ta­tion at the grand­stand.

The ban on liquor and street party within the 300-me­ter ra­dius of the Sin­u­log route will take place on Jan­uary 19 to Jan­uary 21 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

“I de­cided to tol­er­ate it. I think the warn­ing is good enough. I think peo­ple be­lieve that I will re­ally close them. No more warn­ings for next year. Peo­ple know I’m se­ri­ous enough. Hope­fully,” the mayor said, adding that he can or­der the clo­sure of the restau­rants and bars within the 300-me­ter ra­dius just as he can or­der the clo­sure of big es­tab­lish­ments in the city.

The city gov­ern­ment will be de­ploy­ing Kaoh­si­ung buses where rowdy and un­ruly rev­el­ers, who will also be caught drink­ing or hold­ing beer bot­tles, will be de­tained.

City Coun­cilor David Tu­mu­lak, deputy mayor for po­lice mat­ters, said it is bet­ter to sep­a­rate big events to dis­perse the peo­ple.

“We are more proac­tive this time. We have to be wise in our de­ploy­ment of se­cu­rity per­son­nel and force mul­ti­pli­ers,” he added.

Ri­cabo, on the other hand, said that just like last year, they will des­ig­nate two cops in ev­ery 10 me­ters of the route and de­ploy about 1,000 po­lice per­son­nel, not in­clud­ing the aug­men­ta­tion forces and the force mul­ti­pli­ers.

He added they are fi­nal­iz­ing the plans with lo­cal gov­ern­ment agen­cies.

In a re­lated de­vel­op­ment, the Fuente po­lice sta­tion has raised ef­forts to in­crease the level of se­cu­rity aware­ness among stake­hold­ers in the hospitality busi­ness to en­sure the safety of the ex­pected flock of tourists for the yule­tide sea­son and Sin­u­log cel­e­bra­tion.

They con­ducted the sec­ond leg of sem­i­nar on ter­ror­ism, rob­bery and other crim­i­nal­ity, at­tended by at least 70 se­cu­rity man­agers and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of dif­fer­ent pen­sion houses up to five star ho­tels.

Chief Insp. Maria Theresa Ma­catan­gay, chief of Fuente po­lice sta­tion, said that ac­tiv­ity will bet­ter pre­pare the busi­ness es­tab­lish­ments in times of emer­gency sit­u­a­tion.

“This is one of the ini­tia­tives to make us ready. We are try­ing our best here in this part of the re­gion to make all the stake­hold­ers aware of the re­spec­tive re­spon­si­bil­ity when it comes to the main­te­nance of peace and or­der,” Ma­catan­gay said.

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