GenSan police braces for Kalilangan Festival

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/4 Feb) – Police authorities here are drawing up stringent security measures in preparation for the city’s 71st foundation anniversary celebration and Kalilangan Festival 2010 slated later this month.

Senior Supt. Marcelo Pintac, city police director, said Thursday they initially launched an assessment on the city’s security situation and crime incidence to help facilitate the ongoing formulation of its comprehensive security plan for the celebrations.

“We’re almost set now in terms of security preparations but we’re making some improvements to ensure a more secure and safe festivities,” he said.

Pintac said the city’s security arrangements would be based mainly on their experiences in securing previous major activities in the area.

This year’s Kalilangan Festival, which is considered as the city’s banner festivity, is slated on February 22 to 27.

But various pre-festival activities such as the traditional carnival, nightly shows, concerts, arts and cultural shows and competitions as well as the trade fair at the Oval Plaza here are scheduled to open this weekend.

Among the highlights of this year’s festivities are the Kadsagayan Street Dancing Showdown, Festivals of Mindanao Street Dancing Competition, Queen of the Festivals of Mindanao Pageant and Indak Mindanao Cultural Dance Revolution.

Pintac said they are planning to deploy at least 150 policemen to secure various public areas and festival venues.

He said they will also tap various law enforcement agencies and civilian volunteer groups of various barangays as “force multipliers.”

He said they will also utilize troops from the Army’s Joint Task Force GenSan to patrol various key areas of the city’s main commercial district as well as the area’s exit and entry points.

“We will use the full force of the GenSan police to secure the celebrations. We will all go out and do our part to make sure we sustain the safe and secure atmosphere that we have right now,” Pintac added. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)