Cebu City Police on ‘Arat na Cebu’ concert: ‘A successful event’
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Police said they will not discourage another concert to be held here, especially after they described the handling of the Arat na Cebu concert last Saturday, March 26, 2022, as ‘successful.’
Police Lieutenant Colonel Wilbert Parilla, deputy director for operations of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), made this statement, belying reports that they were overpowered by spectators in the said concert that attracted around 100,000 at the Cebu City Sports Center.
“It was a successful event although there was a bit of commotion, especially during the entry of the spectators because the crowd was really large,” Parilla said in a press conference on Monday, March 28. “It was a good thing we prepared for this.”
Parilla said he does not discourage another concert but admitted more preparation will be needed should one be organized again in the future.
“It was manageable and we cannot say that we will discourage but maybe implement changes with the protocols,” he said.
Parilla said one of the things they could do moving forward is have enough time for rehearsals prior to the event.
“One that was lacking is the rehearsal. We should have enough time and coordination [with organizers],” Parilla said.
Watch his press conference here:
Parilla clarified that the police were not overpowered during the event.
“They did not overpower us. As you can see in the video, people were pushing just to enter the venue. Prior to that, we really opened it actually. It would be riskier for the spectators so we closed the gates again to control the entry as this might cause a stampede if it remained open,” Parilla said.
He also denied reports circulating online that there was a stampede during the concert.
“Actually, it was not a stampede. That’s not the correct word because if we say stampede, there is mass causality. With what happened, there were those who were injured but only a few,” he said.
As of this posting, police continues to account for the total number of injured spectators. In the side of the police, they had five among the 250 deployed personnel during the concert.
Parilla further said that they were strict in ensuring that concertgoers were wearing face masks, as part the compliance to the city’s health protocols.
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