Central Visayas police on "double alert" during Holy Week

March 21, 2010 11:30 am 

CEBU CITY, MARCH 21 7 official said.

Sr. Supt. Silvestre Primero, PRO 7 deputy regional director for administration, said security plans for the Holy Week also include adjustments compelled by the electoral campaign as they anticipate candidates for the May polls will take the opportunity to visit crowded religious sites and tourist spots.

In Cebu City, Supt. Pablo Labra II, deputy chief for operations, said they have identified the religious sites that will be given top security, especially on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

The Passion at the Good Shepherd Garden and the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral’s “Sugat” are among the major activities the police force intends to secure in the city.

In Cebu Province, troops will be deployed in Bantayan Island the whole week, Minglanilla town on Easter Sunday and the South and North Bus Terminals.

The Commission on Elections has reminded all candidates to respect the religious activities and heed the ban on campaigning on Holy Thursday and Good Friday.

Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal also ordered the clergy to refrain from taking part in a Siete Palabras (Seven Last Words) on Good Friday other than the one held in the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral to prevent the "abuse" of the Siete Palabras.

Cardinal Vidal has asked the clergy to attend the activity in the cathedral, while their parishes can install television monitors and additional speakers in strategic places so that people can follow the broadcast of the ceremonies.

Exceptions to the cardinal’s circular may be granted, such as for parishes that cannot be reached by radio or TV, said Msgr. Esteban Binghay.

No details of the “abuse” were provided, but it is common practice for some broadcast outfits to air Siete Palabras programs either sponsored by political figures, or featuring them as speakers. (PNA)

LDV/EB/bh

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