CEBU CITY, January 6 — The Muslim community in Cebu on Friday vowed to work closely with the Police Regional Office Region 7 (PRO 7) to have a safe celebration of Sinulog on Sunday, January 15.
Mufti of Cebu and Voice of Islam president Najeeb Rasul made the assurance in a meeting with police officials at the PRO 7.
Rasul encouraged his fellow Muslims to set aside their differences and help everyone celebrate Sinulog peacefully.
“For a society to become peaceful, to become united, we need to have tolerance. We call on our brothers in Mindanao not to let violence come here. Cebu City is my city and I don’t allow them to come here,” Rasul said.
Senior Superintendent Rey Lyndon Lawas, PRO 7 deputy director for operations, said the cooperation of the Muslim community will assure a calm and harmonious Sinulog celebration.
But Lawas still advised everyone to be extra vigilant and report anything suspicious to the nearest government office or police officers designated in their area.
Senior Superintendent Joel Doria, Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) director, said they have increased the security personnel to be deployed during the Sinulog from 5,000 to 8,000.
Doria said they will include personnel from the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines and force multipliers.
Doria said they have also tapped the “habal-habal” (motorcycle-for-hire) drivers in their security preparations.
Some 150 of them have been trained to detect bombs and other explosives, he said.