Additional security for Mactan festival

Flornisa M. Gitgano

TIGHTER security will be imposed during the Kadaugan sa Mactan Festival, which started last April 17 and will end on April 30 with the reenactment of the battle Lapu-Lapu won 496 years ago.

Chief Insp. Junnel Caadlawon, operations chief of the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office, said that security preparations were made last month, but additional measures will be adopted following a clash between the Abu Sayyaf Group and soldiers in Bohol last week.

“Installation of additional closed-circuit television cameras will be made in Mactan Shrine,” said Caadlawon.

Meanwhile in Olango Island, there was no sign of armed men in the last 24 hours. Investigators found instead a few stalks of malunggay, dried fish, and a can, which was believed to be used for cooking. These were left under the trees, just a hundred meters away from a residential area in Barangay San Vicente.

Lapu-Lapu Police Office Director Rommel Cabagnot said it was the area where a resident reportedly saw armed men. No one could tell who had left these in Sitio Bas Coral, Barangay San Vicente.

Senior Supt. Cabagnot, together with Caadlawon, members of the Navy and Army, went to Olango Island at 4 p.m. last Thursday, stayed there overnight, and immediately resumed looking for those armed persons as early as 5 a.m. yesterday.

“Niari ta di buot pasabot naa na dayon ingana. Niari ta kay naneguro lang ta (Our presence here doesn’t mean those armed men do exist. We are here just to make sure,” said Cabagnot. The woman who saw two men with long firearms informed the barangay captain of San Vicente about it last Thursday afternoon. The village leader then called the police.

There were 40 police personnel at that time. As of 5 p.m. yesterday, they were back on the mainland and had found no bandit in Olango. Cabagnot also denied reports that residents were evacuated to another area.

Acting Vice Mayor Harry Radaza said that the organizers allocated about P4 million, the same amount as last year’s, for the Kadaugan sa Mactan.

City Tourism Officer Hembler Mendoza said that Tony Labrusca, a finalist of ABS-CBN’s show Pinoy Boyband Superstar, will act as Lapu-Lapu, while James Ryan Cesena, also a finalist of the said, will portray Magellan. Actress Kris Bernal will perform as Reyna Bulakna during the reenactment of the Battle of Mactan at the Liberty Shrine on April 27.

Mendoza said several activities are lined up for this year’s festival, including the longboard competition, road bike circuit challenge, pinoy boy band, skate fest, motorcycle show, Rampada, among others.

Nonnie Lopez of Dragonboat Cebu Central said the biggest dragon boat race in the Philippines will happen in Lapu-Lapu on April 28 to 30.