Tight watch vs party drugs, rowdy crowds

By Benjie Talisic, Morexette B. Erram, Nestle L. Semilla |January 17,2018 - 10:34 PM


Despite the ban on parties imposed by the Cebu City government during the Sinulog, authorities will still be on the lookout for rowdy crowds and illegal drugs.

The city has imposed a liquor ban and a ban on parties from January 20, Saturday at 6 p.m. up to January 22, Monday at 6 a.m. It covers the area within 300 meters from the Sinulog parade route.

Cebu City Councilor David Tumulak said they are tapping barangay tanods beyond the 300-meter to watch for rowdy parties, especially those whose attendees use “party drugs”.

Tumulak, who is the Sinulog 2018 executive committee chairman, said that the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7) are not only securing the Sinulog route but also the neighboring barangays.

“Spread tanan ang police not only sa Sinulog route but also in neighboring barangays. Naa may mga disco-disco ana outside the 300-meter radius,” Tumulak said.

(The police will be deployed not only along the Sinulog route but also in the neighboring barangays, where discos are held outside the 300-meter radius)

As of yesterday, Tumulak said that only one concert was approved by the city government after the organizers assured the city that it would be purely a musical concert, which will be held at the Cebu Business Park.

“Ni-assure ang organizers nga dili rowdy crowd ilang market. But ato sad silang giwarningan nga if naay makitang violation automatically stop ilang concert,” Tumulak said.

(The organizers assured us that their market is not rowdy crowd. But we also warned them that if there are violations, we will automatically stop the concert.)

Police Regional Director, Chief Supt. Jose Mario Espino said it is highly possible that “party drugs” such as ecstasy and flakka or the zombie drug will be sold during Sinulog parties or in bars.

He gave orders to frisk partygoers and security personnel hired by party or concert organizers to prevent the sale and intake of these illegal substances.

Meanwhile, disaster teams from the province will also be deployed to provide additional security manpower to ensure quick response to any eventuality that may arise during the Sinulog festival.

At least 10 disaster teams from Liloan, San Fernando, Argao, Medellin, Tuburan, Barili, Dumanjug, Sibonga, Toledo City and Danao City committed to help their counterparts in Cebu City.

The teams from Liloan, Danao City and San Fernando will be assigned at the Basilica del Sto. Niño up till Saturday.

For the fluvial procession and the Sinulog grand parade, the teams from Medellin and Tabogon will be stationed at the Cebu Technological University Main Campus on M.J. Cuenco Ave.

The teams from Barili and Dumanjug will act as additional responders based at the Cebu South Bus Terminal. While those from Toledo City and Sibonga will be at the Emergency Operation Center.

“This is the third time Capitol has participated and extended help on Sinulog activities, particularly at the Devotee City. A medical team will also be on standby in the site but we’re focusing our personnel in the night time to monitor safety in the area,” said PDRRMO Information Officer Julius Regner.

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