CEBU CITY – The Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) has installed global positioning system (GPS) trackers to bolster its anti-criminality campaign during the Holy Week.
CCPO chief Col. Josefino Ligan, in a press briefing Tuesday, said the entire police force here will be on full alert status next week in time with the observance of the week-long culmination of the Lenten season.
“We are ready to stop whatever crimes will happen in the area. All of our mobile units are prepared in case of any eventuality,” he said in mixed English and Cebuano.
He ordered the installation of a GPS tracking system for 40 mobile units that will be monitored by the CCPO headquarters.
“The nearest unit where the crime will happen will be the one to be dispatched,” he said.
The 40 mobile units are part of around 300 police personnel who will secure churches during the Holy Week, Ligan added.
Although no Holy Week security threats were monitored, Ligan said he would deploy policemen in many convergent areas in the city like terminals and domestic ports.
He also revealed that church officials have already canceled major Lenten events like the traditional Visita Iglesia.
The police will also ramp up the campaign to arrest violators of the minimum health standards against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) even during the holidays, reminding the policemen, however, to observe “maximum tolerance” in enforcing the protocols.
“If the police noticed a gathering or crowding of people, they are authorized to disperse them for violating the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) rules,” he added.
Ligan also reminded militant groups to refrain from doing rallies without a permit, saying that mass gathering is a clear violation of the IATF policies.
“My instruction if ever they will defy and will not disperse even if being told to do so, we will arrest them and file corresponding charges in violation of the protocols. If they will be that defiant, and they will fight back, we will charge them with violation of Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code,” he said.
The provision punishes unjustifiable disobedience of lawful orders of persons in authority or their agents.
Meanwhile, the CCPO said it will also secure the Carbon Public Market to avoid a repeat of last year’s situation when market-goers flocked Cebu’s main trading hub to buy ingredients for the local dish “binignit”.
Last year, photos of market-goers flocking to Carbon went viral on social media. It was blamed for the rise in Covid-19 case in this city. (PNA)