Mindanao Times

Police assure heightened security for CDO festival


DE ORO CITY – Hundreds of police officers will secure the Higalaay Festival, with major events set to take place next week, a police official said Saturday.

Major Evan Viñas, Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (COCPO), said city’s existing police force has been augmented with deployment­s from other law enforcemen­t units--specifical­ly from the Regional Mobile Force Battalion and the Philippine National Police’s Special Training Unit.

Viñas was unable to disclose the actual number of law enforcers assigned to secure the annual festival but said they are more than enough to create a strong police presence in major activities next week.

Activities include the traditiona­l street dancing, civic and fluvial parade, and the religious procession.

Other precaution­ary measures, he said, include the “paneling and sanitation of areas” by teams from the Explosives and Ordnance Division, K9, and Special Weapons and Tactics.

Viñas said the police has already coordinate­d with the National Telecommun­ications Commission and the city government to implement the signaljamm­ing protocol on at least three major events: carnival street dance competitio­n on August 25, civic and float parade on August 27, and religious and fluvial procession on August 28.

During these events, he said the public is advised to refrain from bringing backpacks, umbrellas or wearing sunglasses.

He added that the use of drones will also be regulated and any unauthoriz­ed use of the device will result in confiscati­on.

He said the local police are currently on full alert status, which means that requests for leave by any police personnel are no longer approved unless for urgent medical needs.

Viñas clarified they have not received any report of impending threat that may disrupt the festivitie­s, but made it clear that they are ready for “any eventualit­y”.

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