PHILIPPINE National Police chief, Director General Oscar D. Albayalde yesterday asked the general public to help them in their major effort to keep peace and order during the nationwide observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
“We need the full cooperation of the citizenry in ensuring that Filipinos will be able to visit their departed ones and return to their respective homes safely, away from criminality,” Gen. Albayalde said as he ordered an extensive security coverage before, during and after the observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day nationwide.
The top cop has reminded all police units and personnel across the country of their law enforcement and public safety duties ahead of the long Halloween break.
“Sa ating mga kapulisan, we expect na wala tayong break or leave dahil tayong lahat ay magdu-duty sa lahat ng sementeryo at subdivision na iiwan ng mga tao na pupunta sa sementeryo,” he said.
The PNP chief said he has mobilized local police and National Support Units for police visibility, crime prevention and law enforcement operations in transportation hubs such as airports, seaports, bus terminals, and mass transportation facilities, as well as along major thoroughfares where PNP units will man Police Assistance Centers in anticipation of the annual exodus of city residents to the provinces.
In cooperation with LGUs, NGOs, civilian volunteers and force multipliers, local PNP units are also undertaking focused public safety operations in memorial parks, public cemeteries, columbaria; as well as other public places of convergence in commercial centers, shopping malls, amusement parks and places of worship.
The PNP leadership said 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.
Officials 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. People are encouraged 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 PNP leadership has underscored the importance of following their crime prevention tips as they prepare to visit public and private cemeteries across the country to pay respects to their dearly departed.
The tips cover those leaving their homes, inside cemeteries and while on the road leading to cemeteries in Metro Manila and in the provinces and riding either a private vehicle or a private transport.
Mamang Pulis readers are advised to follow these tips when leaving their homes :
• Lock all doors and windows and ensure all possible paths to the house are blocked;
• Install a burglar alarm to alert the neighbors if someone breaks in;
• Do not leave notes outside the house indicating you will be away; keep some appliances like radio on to give the impression someone is still inside the house;
• Ask a trusted neighbor to keep watch over your house;
• Ensure no candle, gas stove or leaking faucet or plugged appliance is left unattended;
• Secure all items such as clothes being hung out to dry.
While inside the cemeteries, the following tips should be followed:
• Bring sufficient food and water, and keep in mind that liquor and food sold by vendors inside cemeteries are prohibited.
• Bring protection against heat and rain.
• Do not bring deadly or bladed weapons, loud speakers, and gambling paraphernalia.
• Closely watch items brought inside cemeteries and make sure the candles you bring will not cause fires.
• Remind children not to roam around especially in crowded areas. Have them wear or bring a form of identification.
• Keep the surroundings clean and bring your own trash bag to put garbage in.
• Know where the first aid stations and PNP assistance booth are in case of emergency or need for police assistance.
• If attending a wake, make sure the area is crime-free.
When traveling, the PNP chief said the following must be followed:
• Before the trip, make sure the vehicle is roadworthy, and follow the “BLOWBAG” rule which is B for Battery; L for Light; O for Oil; W for Water; B for Brakes; A for Air; and G for Gas.
• Bring all pertinent documents for the vehicle, including the Insurance Certificate.
• Make sure the doors are locked and the windows closed especially if children are joining the trip.
• Ensure control of the vehicle at all times. Avoid one-handed driving or using a mobile phone; avoid driving while drunk or sleepy.
• When driving at night, always use headlights and signal lights. Don’t drive when you have poor eyesight.
• If you do not live too far from a cemetery, don’t bring your car so as not to add to traffic.
And last but not the least, the PNP said the following rules must be kept in mind when taking public transport:
• Don’t wear jewelry or bring large amounts of money. Keep watch over your mobile phone.
• Do not bring too many items.
• Be early at airports and seaports especially in the case of women, children and senior citizens.
• If you see a suspicious package, or someone acting suspiciously, notify authorities.
• Be wary of snatchers and petty thieves, and report incidents to the nearest Police Assistance Post.