Garma asks DepEd to tell students: Don’t bring backpacks to Basilica

By Delta Dyrecka C. Letigio |January 12,2019 - 11:37 AM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Senior Superintendent Royina Garma, director of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), today requested the  Department of Education in Central Visayas (DepEd-7) to urge students not to bring their school backpacks to the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño when they plan to hear a novena Mass during the Sinulog week.

In a  letter to DepEd-7 Regional Director Julieta Jeruta, dated January 11, Garma said that to ensure a peaceful and safe Sinulog celebration, the CCPO will have to strictly implement the “no b”ackpack” policy.

“As an observation, backpacks are used by criminals who plan to do terroristic activities during big events. Thus, we discourage to bring such a thing in order not to delay our inspection and not spoil our devotion to the Holy Child,”  Garma said in the letter.

Garma noted that the “no backpack” policy has often been violated by pilgrims and worshippers attending the novena Masses, especially by students who bring their school bags to the Basilica.

“Please inform our dear students not to bring their backpacks during the scheduled pilgrim (Masses) to the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño,” said Garma.

Garma hoped for the cooperation of the educational institutions, especially those that will be sponsoring Masses at the Basilica for the duration of the Sinulog Festival, which kicked off on January 10 and will culminate on January 20, to celebrate the feast of the Child Jesus, which in the Catholic calendar is held every third Sunday of January .

Several morning and afternoon Masses are officiated at the Basilica during the Sinulog period./ elb

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