Duterte to attend Sinulog for first time, says his Visayas top aide

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CEBU CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte will be a guest at the Sinulog festival in Cebu City on Sunday (Jan. 19), his first since assuming power in 2016.

Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino announced the President’s attendance at Sinulog on his official Facebook page on Monday (Jan. 13) yet.

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“We are happy to announce that President Rodrigo Duterte will be attending the Sinulog Grand Parade 2020 this Sunday. This is the first time that the President is joining the Sinulog Festival,” Dino’s post read.

Joining Duterte are Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles and Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Dino said.

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The invitation to Duterte had been sent last December by Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella.

Police would be on high alert for Duterte’s expected attendance in the festival, Cebu’s biggest and in honor of the Child Jesus, or Santo Nino, an image of an infant Jesus given as baptismal gift by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan to Cebu’s Queen Juana in 1521.

Brig. Gen. Valeriano De Leon said meetings were already being held to prepare security arrangements for Duterte.

Police have raised the second-highest alert level in Cebu for the Sinulog Festival.

Among security measures likely to be implemented is a shutdown of communications signals during the Grand Parade which Duterte would attend.

The Sinulog Grand Parade 2020 will have 26 contingents dancing along a 6.5-kilometer route.

To secure devotees and revelers, close to 6,000 policemen were deployed to Sinulog events.

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Edited by TSB

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