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Police start groundwork for quincentennial event security

Police start groundwork for quincentennial event security

Mae Fhel K. Gom-os (The Freeman) - January 19, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Police are now starting to lay the groundwork to secure the upcoming 500th anniversary celebration of the arrival of Christianity in the country, which will be held in Cebu this April.

Cebu City Police Office Director Colonel Josefino Ligan yesterday said that they will be coordinating with officials from the Archdiocese of Cebu on what activities need security detail.

Two weeks ago, the Church and Cebu City government launched the 100-day countdown to the yearlong celebration, which will run from April 14, 2021 to April 14, 2022.

The list of activities includes the “first” Mass on Limasawa island, the first baptism in Cebu, and the arrival of the image of the Sto. Niño, which is considered as the oldest religious relic in the Philippines.

Police are hopeful that COVID-19 vaccines will already be available by then, at least for some people, and that people can already freely go outside to celebrate the quincentennial event.

Ligan, however, emphasized that the movement of people will have to depend on the word from experts and authorities.

As part of the security plan, police will start to assess whether the activities lined up for the occasion will require augmentation forces.

“Tan-awon nato if by that time, allowed na ba ang mga tawo mogawas.  If allowed na, then we’ll be requesting kon kinahanglan gyud ta’g other forces to augment para sa security (We will see if by then, people will be allowed to go out already. If yes, then we will be requesting augmentation forces),” said Ligan.

Church officials led by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma and Cebu City officials led by Vice Mayor Mike Rama launched the 100-day countdown to the historic celebration last January 4 at the Magellan’s Cross in Cebu City.

In 1521, Christianity arrived in the Philippines when the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who was heading a Spanish expedition, reached the country’s shores in an attempt to reach the East Indies by sailing westward. — JMD (FREEMAN)

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