ADDITIONAL police officers will augment security forces currently deployed in Antique province for the Palarong Pambansa 2017.
Superintendent Gilbert Gorero, spokesperson of Police Regional Office (PRO-6), said 450 policemen were sent to Antique after a send-off ceremony morning of Apr 20 at the PRO-6 headquarters in Camp Martin Delgado, Iloilo City.
The additional forces are comprised of rookie policemen who were also deployed during the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) meetings in Western Visayas.
“They will augment Antique police to secure different billeting areas and event venues,” Gorero said.
Portions of Southern Antique, from Anini-y to Bugasong town, will also host thousands of athletes for the national games on Apr 23-29, 2017.
Still, the local PNP stressed that there are no threats to the holding of the national sports event.
Gorero noted the importance of police visibility, especially that four minors were arrested for the alleged burglary at one of the athletes’ billeting areas.
The four suspects were caught on Apr 19 after some athletes from Western Visayas reported that they lost several belongings.
Police investigators believed that the thieves entered the billeting school by scaling the fence.
An estimated P30,000 worth of belongings, mostly rubber shoes and apparels, were taken.
The suspects were apprehended afternoon of Apr 19 in San Jose town. The stolen items were also seized from their possession.
Meanwhile, Governor Rhodora Cadiao of Antique said that there is a big chance that President Rodrigo Duterte will grace the opening of Palarong Pambansa on April 23 at the Binirayan Stadium in San Jose town.
This early, Cadiao said they could already feel the positive effect, especially on the province’s economy, of hosting the Palaro.
Aside from economic gains, Antique is anticipating that the event will benefit the province’s tourism industry as around 15,000 to 20,000 athletes, officials and other participants from the 18 regions of the country are expected to attend.
Earlier, Cadiao said Antique’s hosting of the event will serve as an opportunity for other small provinces to follow.
Cadiao also said that Palarong Pambansa will not be confined to mere sports competition but also as a cultural exchange among provinces of the country.
Relatedly, Cadiao ordered a smoking ban in the province during the Palaro.
With the governor’s order, there will also be no selling of cigarettes in the entire province. Smoking ban violators will be fined.