DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 04 June) — Thousands of party-goers gathered at the Davao Crocodile Park, venue of the “One Love. One Nation. Thanksgiving Party” to celebrate the victory of outgoing Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, the first Mindanawon to become President.
Organizers earlier confirmed that Duterte would grace the 12-hour event although it was not announced at what time he would face his supporters.
Chief Insp. Milgrace Driz, spokesperson of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) placed the crowd at 180,000 as of 4 p.m.
PROUD FILIPINO. Reynan Dal-Anay waves the Philippine flag as he performs Freddie Aguilar’s “Bayan Ko” before thousands of party-goers at the Davao Crocodile Park. Reynan, a member of Manobo tribe from Bukidnon, was a finalist in last year’s The Voice Kids. MindaNews photo by ANTONIO L. COLINA IV
She said they coordinated with other law enforcement agencies like the Philippine Drug Endorcement Agencies (PDEA), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Police Regional Office (PRO) 11, 10th Infantry Division, and Eastern Mindanao Command to facilitate smoothly the flow of traffic along Diversion Road and entry of the people to the venue proper.
At least 4,500 security personnel have been deployed to secure the public, according to Driz.
Lead event organizer Kat Dalisay had earlier said party-goers were not allowed to bring alcoholic drinks but there would be booths within the venue selling booze. But Driz said there was a change in the rules and selling of alcholic drinks is no longer allowed inside.
She added sellers were notified ahead of time.
Party-goers are not allowed to bring, among others, pointed objects such as knives, umbrellas and backpacks.
Backpacks were deposited at the frisking stations but owners can claim their belongings anytime, she said.
Driz said peace and order is much better while the crowd is more manageable this time unlike on May 7, the last day of the 90-day national campaign period, where some 94,000 persons gathered to sing the country’s national anthem in support of Duterte’s candidacy, in an attempt to break Guinness Book of World Record for the most number of people singing simultaneously the national anthem.
The current record is held by Bangladesh with 264,000 last year.
“Smooth ang traffic flow, well coordinated na ang mga agencies. People were advised of the rerouting while drivers and owners of big vehicles were told to pass the downtown area if they don’t have any business along Diversion Road,” Driz said
She said security personnel and organizers were holding almost daily conferences to ensure the success of the event.
“No untoward incidents were recorded, except for a drunk man who attempted to get inside but our police were able to send him out,” she said.
Party-goer Amor Cabrera, 45, an entrepreneur from Panabo City, complained that there were only few portable comfort rooms provided.
She said she waited for about an hour.
“They should have provided more and separate comfort rooms for the seniors and persons with disabilities,” she said.
She also complained of the foul odor coming from the comfort rooms that she suggested to organizers to assign a maintenance personnel. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)