Sarangani cancels Sarbay 2017

24 May 2017
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GENERAL SANTOS CITY (May 24, 2017) – Sarangani Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon announced the cancellation of Sarbay Fest on Wednesday (May 24) a day before the start of the country’s biggest beach festival.

The cancellation, Solon told a news conference, was to show the provincial government’s support to the declaration of President Rodrigo Duterte Tuesday night placing the whole Mindanao under Martial Law.

“Movements in terms of security have been mobilized to ensure the safety of the festival” but it is on “the moral ground that Sarangani Province cannot celebrate while our brothers in Marawi are distressed,” Solon said.

In 2016, organizers counted 150,000 Sarbay tourists and expect the same number this May 25, 26 and 27 at the same spot in Gumasa, Glan.

“We have cancelled this year’s Sarangani Bay Festival,” the governor said.

“All the day and night activities will be postponed and this is a strong statement by the province that although we have prepared, the security is tight and ready, but we are in protest against acts of terrorism and this is also the reason why we are cancelling the event to protest terrorism in the Philippines,” Solon stressed.

Solon pointed out that security in Sarangani has been “very tight.”

“All security measures in Sarangani Province are strong and tight. The Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police have prepared for our SarBay Festival since two weeks ago,” he said.

Solon said holding the Sarbay Festival was “not right” while Marawi was under siege. “Hindi tugma sa ating protest against terrorism.”

1002nd Brigade Commander Colonel Tyne Banas said the military has not yet received guidelines of the Martial Law but “we have to follow the rule of law and Martial Law will be implemented.”

As of this writing, organizers of Sarbay are meeting with the concessionaires to confirm the cancellation of the event which reportedly has been made for them to understand. (Beverly C. Paoyon/SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)

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