EDITORIAL - Sinulog parties must be controlled

The Freeman

The Sinulog Foundation, after years of burying its nose on organizational matters pertaining to the Sinulog, has finally looked up and apparently did not like what it saw. And so, the foundation said, it will no longer be giving permits starting this year to anyone intending to hold any of those wild, alcohol-spiked parties along the parade route.

Aha. So it is the Sinulog Foundation that used to allow such parties by issuing them permits. Until the foundation came out to say it will no longer give such permits, to most people, the parties were just spontaneous explosions of excess. Nobody thought there was an authority that allowed them to happen. But now that people know, it is too late for any finger-pointing for all the bad experiences that resulted from such binges.

But even if the public knew earlier, it would still be pointless to blame the foundation. While it now appears that the parties were within the powers of the foundation to allow, they were, once they got going, beyond the powers of the foundation to control. The foundation did not have the means to keep the conduct of the parties under check, especially since such parties were essentially drinking, and in all likelihood, drug-taking orgies as well.

Still, it is good that the Sinulog Foundation has brought up the matter of street parties during and after the Sinulog so that the matter can be made an issue with the proper authorities such as the city government and the police. For the information of the city government and the police, these Sinulog street parties are dangerous, destructive and disruptive.

People who are going about their own businesses, whether on foot or in vehicles, are stopped by wild, unruly, and drunk people having a party and forced to drink, dance or whatever they wish their hostages to do. These drunks occupy entire sidewalks and roads, blocking the flow of people and vehicles. Once vehicles are stopped, they jump up and down on them -- on the roofs and hoods -- often causing damage which the owners cannot complain about for fear of their lives.

It is time the city government and the police put a lid on such activities before something really nasty happens and they can only regret their lack or failure to control the madness. The success or failure of the Sinulog does not hinge on the parties that happen in the course of the celebration. It is one thing to have a good time and be merry, and another to interfere in the movement and endanger the lives of others.

It has to be acknowledged that some of the biggest sponsors of the Sinulog are also the biggest providers of alcoholic drinks and so the business end of their Sinulog partnership must be respected. Besides, what is a fiesta without the booze. But what proceeds from booze-binging can be controlled and managed. And that job falls squarely on the laps of both the city government and the police. Law enforcers must be fielded to protect citizens from rowdiness and hooliganism.


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