Chief Inspector Terence Paul Sta. Ana, chief of Kalibo police, said carrying of glass-bottled containers and deadly weapons are prohibited in the Ati-Atihan festival to prevent similar incidents last year where 12 cases of bottle-throwing incidents were reported by the Kalibo police.
Two lock-up cells in Kalibo police municipal station are ready to accommodate 'dead-drunkards' and revelers to sober up due to heavy drinking. Mobile jails of Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) are also willing to welcome unruly revelers in the streets.
"Pag napuno ang ating Kalibo lock-up cells dahil sa dami ng bisita, may BJMP mobile jail cells sa kanila," Sta. Ana said.
Security will be tightened in the "Big Three Days" from January 13, 14 to 15 where heavy influx of tourists and devotees are expected to converge in the main streets of Kalibo for the revelries.
Sta. Ana said force multipliers, uniformed personnel of Philippine National Police, Philippine Army, emergency responders, firemen and auxiliary cops are on-standby in staging areas and police assistance centers to ensure security in festival zones.
A total of 250 personnel from Regional Public Safety Battalion and provincial police offices under the Police Regional Office (PRO-6) were deployed in Kalibo.
Modus operandi of pick pocketers and snatchers in crowded places are also under the 'watchful' eyes of the local police, he added.
"May mga spotters tayo para ma-monitor ang kanilang illegal trade lalo na ngayong Kapistahan sa Kalibo," Sta. Ana said.
The police chief also appealed to the public to report any unusual activities of lawless elements that attempts to mar the festivities.
"Ang marching order ng PRO-6 sa atin ay walang bomb incidents na tulad sa ibang lugar. Dito nakabantay sarado ang ating mga security forces sa ganitong festival," he stressed on Wednesday, adding K-9 and Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams are on guard for bomb-related incidents.
Ati-Atihan festival regarded as the "Mother of All Philippine Festivals" is celebrated in reverence to Senor Sto. Nino de Kalibo from January 6 to 15.
BY BOY RYAN B. ZABAL