Stampede, defiance of health protocols mar Arat na Cebu concert
CEBU CITY, Philippines — A jampacked Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) and an uncontrollable crowd.
This was the atmosphere at the Arat na Cebu concert, the first major public event held in the city following the easing of most restrictions under Alert Level 1.
Videos of a stampede occurring around Saturday afternoon due to the massive crowd waiting to get inside the sports center flood social media platforms.
Netizen Jade Patoc, posted a video of the stampede at the N. Bacalso entrance of the CCSC that his sister captured on Saturday afternoon.
CDN Digital has reached out to the organizers of the event but they are yet to respond to queries.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said he will hold a meeting with the police and the city departments to discuss what happened.
“I will have a debriefing including the police how to handle these kinds of situations, learning from this. Kay naa man guy mga instructions, pagkagubot, fingerpointing,” said the mayor.
For Rama, the massive crowd and the eager audience show how much the Cebuanos thirst for the freedom to participate in public events again following the pandemic.
With this, he plans to hold another concert at the South Road Properties (SRP) to accommodate more spectators.
“I can assure you as the mayor of the City of Cebu, we will have another concert at SRP. With that, we will be able to accommodate all,” said the mayor in his speech.
In a later interview with CDN Digital, Rama said the huge crowd is the result of two years of deprived socialization of the public.
“Ganahan na gyod silag freedom. Ang pinakaimportante magbantay lang gihapon,” he said.
Rama denied that the event was organized by his party, Barug PDP Laban, saying that he and Councilor Raymond Garcia were simply special guests.
The organizers already released an earlier statement denying that Arat na Cebu was a political event.
However, candidates of Barug PDP Laban were present during the concert as well as department heads of the Cebu City government.
Rama and Garcia also showed unity by forming a heart with their hands on stage during the concert. /rcg
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