Ati-Atihan target: Zero casualties

BY BOY RYAN ZABAL

Thursday, January 12, 2017

KALIBO, Aklan – Authorities aim for zero casualties during the weeklong Ati-Atihan Festival.

All security forces must fully participate in carrying out measures and contingency plans, Superintendent Pedro Enriquez, deputy provincial police director, told a recent security conference.

The “mother of all Philippine festivals” started on Jan. 6 and will end on the 15th.

Stringent security measures are enforced as more than 400 police officers and Philippine Army 12th Infantry Battalion soldiers are deployed across town, with some manning 16 assistance centers.

Revelers are not allowed to bring backpacks and deadly weapons.

Permits to carry firearms outside of residence were suspended, too. Only law enforcers are allowed to bring their service firearms.

Carrying drinks in glass bottles to festival zones are also prohibited, police said.

While they have not monitored any “imminent, clear security threat” to the festival, the authorities are not leaving anything to chance.

Main and secondary festival zones will have “staging areas” for police officers, emergency responders, firefighters, and medical teams.

Around 250 officers from the Police Regional Office will be detailed in assistance centers and checkpoints, said Chief Inspector Terence Paul Sta. Ana, municipal police commander.

Police auxiliaries will also assist motorists and manage blockades leading to the venues of major events.

Authorities also plan to temporarily detain drunken revelers sleeping on streets or causing trouble in mobile cells of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology. (Aklan Forum Journal/PN)

Police officers in Kalibo, Aklan are on standby for eventualities. Authorities aim for zero casualties during the weeklong Ati-Atihan Festival. AKLAN FORUM JOURNAL