NAGA City -- Mayor John G. Bongat had called for a series of enhanced security planning conferences with the Inter-Agency Task Group and the Unified Command Joint Operations Center (JOC) for the “Peñafrancia Festivities 2016” after last week’s bombing of the night market in Davao City worried Naga City officials.
Bongat told reporters here on Tuesday that the Police Regional Office 5 in Camp Simeon Ola, Legazpi City, increased the police augmentation force by at least 3,000 to boost the 350-strong personnel of the Naga City Police Office (NCPO) during the Peñafrancia fluvial procession, the highlight of the festivity on Sept. 17.
The PRO5 will field an initial force of over 1,000 men at the start of the “Traslacion rites”, the traditional procession of the Lady of Peñafrancia image from the shrine to the Naga Metropolitan Cathedral tomorrow.
Bongat also said he had increased the city government fund assistance from P300,000 to P498,000 for the meals, gas and mobilization of the police augmentation force during the nine-day festivities in this city.
City police director Senior Supt. Julius Muñez told JOC members that he is asking Mayor Bongat to request the tel-co firms to jam cellphone signals during the Traslacion and fluvial procession as a deterrent to improvised explosive devices that may be used by terror groups.
Vice President Leni, a native of this city, will grace the Traslacion and fluvial processions while PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa will participate in the regional military parade next week.
A 9-day gun-ban had also been approved by the PNP for the festivities while the city council passed a resolution banning liquor during Sept. 9 and Sept. 17 of the festivities.