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EDITORIAL - Security more needed after Sinulog

(The Freeman) - January 12, 2016 - 9:00am

When Cebu hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference meetings not too long ago, many streets were closed to regular traffic so they can be used exclusively by foreign delegates. Classes, too, were suspended so that students may stay home and not add to the congestion in the metropolis. And then thousands of policemen were imported from other provinces to beef up the security for the foreign delegates.

Now comes the Sinulog, a largely local affair if, concededly, with a large international flavor provided by the influx of tourists. Streets will also be closed in favor of the grand mardi gras parade. There is, however, no need to suspend classes because the Sinulog falls on a Sunday. What makes the Sinulog starkly different from the APEC is the absence of imported policemen, at least not in their numbers that the APEC meetings saw.

Why there is no similar provision for added security is unclear. It is hoped, however, that the reason is not because foreigners are far more important than the locals and must, therefore, be given the utmost priority to secure. It is hoped the reason is just a simple but unfortunate misappreciation of a very important need.

A simple misappreciation, no matter how unfortunate, is not beyond redemption. It can be corrected and rectified. Even better, there is still time to turn things around. The authorities in charge of overall security for the Sinulog still have a few days to amass the appropriate number of warm bodies to provide security for the hundreds of thousands who are expected to take part in the revelry.

But in order to do that, the authorities must be convinced about the reality of the need for more security personnel in order for them to be persuaded to give the order. And that is not very hard to do. All that is needed is for the authorities to be told that security is not needed only along the parade route and only for the duration of the parade.

The authorities must be told that the greater need for security happens after the parade and outside the parade route -- in the sidestreets and back alleys where drunken parties and drug orgies erupt. These areas, which serve as alternative routes for other people who need to go from one place to another, who need to go and perform jobs too sensitive and important to be interrupted by the Sinulog.

In case the authorities are unaware of the atmosphere and environment during and after the Sinulog, a few sample places might be mentioned: Juana Osmeña and Ramon Aboitiz, two backstreets out of Gen. Maxilom Avenue, are hotbeds for such parties. Another is Arlington Pond connecting Osmeña Boulevard and Ramos. These places host wild parties and people who make the mistake of turning into these streets can have the scare of their lives, if they make it out alive.

ARLINGTON POND ATILDE BOULEVARD AND RAMOS JUANA OSME MAXILOM AVENUE NEED OSME PACIFIC ECONOMIC CONFERENCE RAMON ABOITIZ SECURITY SINULOG
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