ALL security preparations are in place particularly in and around 98 private and public cemeteries and places of public convergence in Metro Manila to ensure a peaceful All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day this week, National Capital Region Police Office director, Brigadier General Debold M. Sinas said yesterday.
In a report to Philippine National Police Officer-in-Charge, Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, the NCRPO director said more than 3,500 policemen will be deployed in and around public and private cemeteries in Metro Manila this week, with the police getting support from their counterparts from the Armed Forces of the Philippines-National Capital Region, local government units and other force multipliers to ensure the safety and security of the public during the observance of Undas.
Police security measures for ‘Undas 2019’ started last week with Gen. Gamboa ordering the deployment of uniformed and plainclothes officers in different areas of interest including public and private cemeteries, bus terminals, airports and seaports, churches and other places of worship, tourist destinations, vital installations including power and telecommunication sites and various places of convergence.
Sinas said they have also coordinated their security preparations with the AFP, Metro Manila Development Authority, Bureau of Fire and Protection, LGUs and different volunteer groups and force multipliers to ensure ‘zero incident’ during the ‘Undas’ period.
The official said he has ordered all five NCRPO District Directors, Chiefs of Police and Station Commanders to closely coordinate with other agencies and intensify their intelligence and counter-intelligence operations to preempt any act of criminality.
The deployment, he said will include Road Safety Marshalls in strategic areas along the routes to and from cemeteries and other areas of convergence. The road safety marshals will provide immediate police and security assistance to the public.
On the other hand, beat patrollers and Explosive Ordnance Disposal experts will secure various key areas, places of convergence and vital and financial installations to preempt terroristic activities.
The Manila Police District headed by Brigadier General Bernabe M. Balba will be in the forefront of securing Manila cemeteries just like last year. Last year, the MPD said there was a generally peaceful situation with ‘zero criminal incident’ recorded in Manila as more than 2.1 million people visited the four biggest cemeteries in the region: Manila North Cemetery, the oldest cemetery in Metro Manila with an average area of 54 hectares, Manila South Cemetery which measure 25 hectares and the La Loma Cemetery and Chinese Cemetery.
Southern Police District director, Brig. Gen. Nolasco K. Bathan said some 720 SPD personnel will be deployed to their respective assignments in Pasay, Makati,
Gen. Gamboa emphasized that there will be strict implementation and monitoring on the prohibition of bladed weapons, flammable materials, liquors, wine and other alcoholic beverages, gardening tools, deadly buckles, loud speakers and gaming cards inside the cemeteries to preserve solemnity and peace in the place.
He also asked the public’s full support and cooperation to their security measures and reminded the citizenry to be alert and vigilant against any suspicious persons and activities. The official encouraged the people to immediately report to the nearest Police Assistance Desks and police stations situated in 99 cemeteries in Metro Manila the presence of possible troublemakers.
The metropolis is home to nearly 100 private and public cemeteries. In Quezon City alone, there are six cemeteries while Paranaque hosts the Manila Memorial Park where the remains of famous personalities like former President Corazon Aquino and her husband, the late Senator Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino are entombed.
Sinas said that police assistance centers have been established inside and outside cemeteries and memorial parks while additional uniformed and plainclothes officers have been deployed in different bus stations, commercial centers and the Metro Railway Transit and the Light Rail Transit to protect the public. Mobile patrols cars, bomb disposal units with dog sniffers and quick response teams are also on orders to be alert for any emergency situation, he added.
Sinas said he has ordered all five NCRPO district directors to establish one Police Assistance Desk in every cemetery in their jurisdiction except for Manila Memorial Park which will have three PADs and the Manila North cemetery and Manila South Cemetery which will have two PADs each.