Koronadal set for historic crowns galore amid security threats

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/9 January) – No, this city is not supporting beleaguered Chief Justice Renato Corona, who is set to face impeachment trial next week at the Senate, with the “Korona” spectacle that will be unleashed today (Tuesday) amid tightened security measures.

“Korona” is Filipino for crown, an array of which will flood the streets of this city for the first time in seven decades.

Koronadal, the seat of government of Region 12, celebrates its 72nd foundation anniversary today and its 12th Hinugyaw Festival.

As part of the Hinugyaw (merry-making), the city government is unveiling Tuesday the historic “Piyesta Korona,” or the Feast of Crowns.

It was conceptualized after the city’s name derived from the B’laan words “Kolon Datal,” which means cogonal plain, a project briefer explained.

Koronadal is surrounded by the Roxas and Quezon mountain ranges “hence should fittingly be called the ‘Crown City’,” it added.

“Building People, Building Character, Building Progress” is the theme of this year’s foundation anniversary celebration.

President Benigno C. Aquino III has declared Tuesday as a special non-working holiday in this city, popularly called Marbel by the locals.

In behalf of the President, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. signed Proclamation 304 last week to give residents the opportunity to celebrate.

As part of the festivities, security measures have been tightened in Koronadal, which is also the provincial capital of South Cotabato.

Supt. Michael Lebanan, city police chief, urged for extra vigilance to avert any untoward incidents from happening across the city.

He also called for cooperation among the residents and asked them to report to authorities suspicious individuals and unattended packages.

Thousands are expected to turn out for the street parade and the “Disco sa Kalye” and Foam Party later in the evening.

Koronadal is among the key cities in Region 12 that is allegedly the target of renewed bomb attacks by terrorists and extortionists, police intelligence reports claimed.

The Directorate for Integrated Police Operation in Western Mindanao has placed Region 12 under red alert owing to the purported terror plots.

Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao covers the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

Recently, authorities have separately recovered bombs in General Santos City and in Tantangan in South Cotabato. (Bong S. Sarmiento / MindaNews)