ILOILO City – Revelers and spectators who will misbehave during and after the highlights of this year’s Dinagyang Festival will be locked up inside a mobile jail car.
“For those people who are unruly and want to create disturbance, may paglalagyan kayo,” warned Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Joem Malong, saying these vehicles will served as temporary detention cells for troublemakers and scalawags.
The Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO), according to Malong, will be using at least four mobile jail cars from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) during the festival’s highlight on Jan. 25 (Dagyang sa Calle, religious sadsad, sponsors’ mardi gras) and Jan. 26 (ati tribes competition).
These detention vehicles will be placed in performance areas of the festival’s dagyang tribe dance competition and strategic places especially near food festival kiosk, where public drunkenness and nuisance have been observed in the past.
“There are BJMP mobile jail cars nga magalibot para didto kamo magpaumpaw sang inyo kahulogbon,” Malong said. “We are warning the public that they can drink, but do not create trouble because our policemen will not hesitate to arrest them and place inside the jail and they will be criminally charged.”
According to Malong, this move is one of the best practices that law enforcers have to implement to ensure the safety of revelers.
Meanwhile, BJMP Deputy Regional Director for Administration, Jail Superintendent Gilbert Peremne said that they will be using four mobile jail cars and the deployment starting on Jan. 24.
Peremne said the two mobile jail cars were from the BJMP regional office and two others from Iloilo District Jail Male Dormitory in Ungka, Jaro district and from Dumangas District Jail.
“We have to deploy our mobile jail cars during the festival because this will be a big help to curb criminality” Peremne said.
On the other hand, Lieutenant Mercylin Duero of the ICPO’s Operations Division said that over 4,000 security personnel would be mobilized to secure the festivity. Of 4,000 personnel, 2,292 are policemen. The rest are force multipliers.
According to Duero, permits to carry firearms outside of residences are cancelled.
The Philippine National Police national headquarters in Camp Crame already approved this security measure, said Duero.
The ICPO will also be prohibiting the carrying of backpacks and bringing of glass bottles, pointed, sharp and bladed objects.
Drinking binges along sidewalks and streets will be disallowed. Duero said there are specific kiosks for these regulated by the Iloilo Festivals Foundation, Inc. which the city government of Iloilo tasked to organize this year’s edition of Dinagyang.
Police personnel will be divided into 11 sectors, six of which will be stationed in the City Proper, and specifically along the Dinagyang ati tribes’ parade routes and judging areas.
The judging areas are the Iloilo City Freedom Grandstand, corner Iznart-Solis streets, corner Ledesma-Valeria streets, and Ma. Clara Street.
Also for security reasons, there would be a temporary shutdown of mobile phone signals within three-kilometer radius of the judging/performance areas on Jan. 26./PN