1,000 police officers, force multipliers to be deployed
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
At least 1,000 police officers and other force multipliers will be deployed during the 25th Panaad sa Negros Festival, which opens this Saturday, April 14.
Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) director, Police Senior Superintendent Francisco Ebreo, said the Joint Task Group Panaad was formed during their recent planning alongside the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO).
Ebreo said, aside from cops, anti-crime volunteer groups, and soldiers from the Philippine Army, they have also scheduled a signal jam for mobile phones during Lin-ay sa Negros coronation night on April 20.
The BCPO director assured the public the signal jam would only last a few hours and phone signals would be restored once the event is over.
Although the security for the Panaad Park and Stadium is under NOPPO, Ebreo said the territorial jurisdiction still falls under Police Station 7.
Ebreo added, they are not seeing any possibility of major crime incidents taking place on festival grounds, although they are concerned about security in the neighboring barangays of Mansilingan, Alijis, and Handumanan since, based on previous experience, most crimes committed during festival period involve rival groups and gangs outside the festival premises.
In preparation for possible flare-ups outside the Panaad Park and Stadium, Ebreo stated the city’s curfew ordinance for minors would still be implemented and unaccompanied minors will be apprehended.
Ebreo also said he is scheduled to meet with NOPPO director, Police Senior Superintendent Rodolfo Castil, Jr., a few days before the festival starts to see if they still have to update security measures for the event./DGB, WDJ