Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, director of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7), said any weather disturbance should not be a hindrance for the police to perform their duties and responsibilities.
“Rain or shine. Bumagyo man o umaraw, dapat nandiyan sila sa kalsada. Huwag nilang bitawan ang areas nila until matapos ang selebrasyon (Rain or shine, they should be on the streets. They should not leave their areas where they are assigned until the celebration is over),” Taliño told reporters on Tuesday, January 10.
About 8,000 police, military personnel, and private security groups are assigned to secure the crowd for the solemn procession and Sinulog Grand
Parade in honor of the Sto. Niño. Police and military personnel are enforcing stringent security measures for the 452nd Fiesta Señor celebration and the Sinulog to ward off possible terror attacks. People are discouraged from bringing backpacks and to instead use transparent bags for security personnel to easily inspect their belongings.
PRO-7 is also regulating the use of drones while habal-habal (motorcycle-for-hire) drivers will be tapped to help in detecting bombs for the duration of the Sinulog celebration in Cebu City. Only drones covered by permits from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and PRO-7 will be allowed along the route of the solemn procession of the Sto. Niño on Jan. 14 and the Sinulog festival on Jan. 15. A 10-day gun ban that started last Monday is also being enforced in the city and province of Cebu.
Security concerns have been raised after rumors of bomb threats spread all over Cebu last Nov. 4, and the explosion that injured 32 persons, including 10 children, during a town fiesta in Hilongos, Leyte last Dec. 28.
Taliño maintained that there are “no imminent, direct, and specific threats,” as well as “clear and present dangers.” But he urged people to be vigilant, saying terrorist attacks can happen anywhere in the country. “The security preparations for the Fiesta Señor and the Sinulog are in place. We just have to make some adjustments as the days progress,” Taliño said.