Cagayan de Oro police assure tight guarding of city fiesta

Pamela Jay F. Orias

THIS year's Higalaay festival, the city's biggest annual event, will be celebrated with tightened security measures amid the terror threat and the martial law declaration.

Cagayan de Oro City Police Office spokesperson Mardy Hortillosa said the security plan is almost complete, and is currently undergoing “fine-tuning.”

“We are still gathering more data to finalize the security plan,” he said.

Mayor Oscar Moreno said the fiesta activities are in place, except one of the core events, the Kumbira, which is considered the largest culinary competition and trade show in Northern Mindanao.

Moreno said one of the reasons why it did not push through was because of the martial law declaration in Mindanao.

“Atong mga (Our) activities, ato gihapon na i-sustinar (are stioll being sustained), despite of what's happening in Marawi and here in Mindanao. In Cagayan de Oro, it's business as usual, it is fiesta as usual,” he said.

With the possibility of the martial law extension, Moreno told the City Hall crowd on Monday morning, July 17, that he has supported the decision from the very beginning, in view of the Marawi crisis “which requires decisive action in the part of the government.”

He said martial rule is a solution that could put an end to terrorism.

“We might be put in danger when this will spill over in nearby places,” he said.

But while he supports it, Moreno said he hopes that the guaranteed rights will also be protected.

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to decide whether he will extend the declaration or not, on his second State of the Nation Address this July 24.