CCPO appeals to militants: COVID cases rising, postpone rallies
Cebu City police official says 200 cops ready to monitor, secure rallies during President’s SONA
CEBU CITY, Philippines — With at least 200 policemen on standby to secure any rallies in Cebu City, police are appealing to militant groups to postpone the holding of street rallies tomorrow, July 26, when President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver his last State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Police Lieutenant Colonel Wilbert Parilla, deputy director for operations of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), made this call amid the increase in cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Cebu City.
Parilla said that they respected the sentiments of these groups toward the government, but considering the COVID-19 threat in the city, they should postpone or not to hold street rallies at all.
“Atong awhagon ang atong mga militante nga dili lang usa magrally naa pay daghan kaayong panahon nga magrally sila labi na karon nga nagkataas ang positive cases,” said the CCPO deputy director for operations.
(I appeal to our militant groups that they should not hold rallies because there are still a lot of other opportunities for them to hold rallies especially now that the the positive cases in the city are increasing.)
As of July 24, the COVID-19 tracker of the Department of Health in Central Visayas has recorded 308 additional cases in Cebu City bringing the total number to 2,009.
Parilla also said that whatever the decision of the Cebu City Emergency Operations Center to allow or not to allow the holding of rallies tomorrow, police were ready to deploy at least 200 policemen to monitor and secure these rallies.
Parilla was referring to two platoons of policemen consisting of 120 personnel from the Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB-7), who were ready for augmentation, and 80 more CCPO policemen.
They will be assigned to secure four identified areas in Cebu City where rallies are usually staged.
Parilla identified these areas as one near the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE-7) office along General Maxilom Avenue, corner Gorordo Avenue; Fuente Osmeña Circle; Colon street; and Plaza Independencia.
He also said that if the EOC would decide to allow rallies, then the policemen would ensure that health protocols would be observed during these mass gatherings.
But if the EOC would decide not to allow rallies, then he said the police would make sure that these groups would not any mass gatherings and protest actions.
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