PNP remains on full alert as vacationers return to Manila

MANILA � Despite the peaceful observance of All Saints' and All Souls' holiday, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde has ordered all police officers tasked to secure the "Undas" commemoration to remain at their posts as people return to work and school.

After the holiday break, the PNP expects the return of many people to Metro Manila from the provinces via land, sea, and air transportation.

Police did not see significant incidents marring the observance of the holiday, when Filipinos visited the graves of departed loved ones.

The PNP leadership attributed what they describe as a peaceful observance of the traditional Filipino holiday to early security preparations for the event.

Albayalde said the full alert status across the country will stay until all workers and students have returned to Metro Manila and other urban areas starting Sunday.

The instruction is for our personnel to remain on their posts until Monday, when the last wave of the huge number of people goes back to their schools and workplaces, he said.

Expected to remain on their posts are policemen manning the Police Assistance Desks in ports and terminals and assistance centers along major thoroughfares, especially at the main entry points of Metro Manila and other key urban areas in the country.

More than 32,000 policemen were deployed to secure cemeteries, churches, major thoroughfares, and other public places where people were expected to converge for the long weekend.

Policemen were augmented by barangay security officers, volunteers, and personnel from other government agencies numbering to almost 90,000.

As the security implementation for the All Saints' and All Souls' Days ends, police are expected to focus on the Yuletide season to sustain what Albayalde said is a downtrend in the crime rate in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.

Albayalde earlier said that the usual spike in crime rate during the Yuletide season is no longer true in the past three years.

On Saturday, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) head Director Guillermo Eleazar described the observance of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day in Metro Manila as generally peaceful.

This evident success is a product of our effective law enforcement and tight security measures implemented across the region," Eleazar said in a statement.

He said that despite the anticipated influx of people to vital installations and areas of convergence, particularly cemeteries, during the holiday, the NCRPO had managed to maintain peace and order and public safety.

Eleazar commended the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, local government units, and other government agencies for working hand in hand to provide and ensure safety and security in carrying out Ligtas Undas 2018."

He likewise thanked the public for their vigilance and cooperation, which has been part and parcel of this year's safe and sound observance."

Meanwhile, Quezon City Police District (QCPD) director Chief Supt. Joselito T. Esquivel Jr. said the QCPD remains in full alert status as security in various public transport terminals and other vital installations in Quezon City remain tight.

We expect the influx of passengers from the different provinces to Metro Manila after the Undas. 0ur policemen, including those who augmented our deployment and other force multipliers, are still on guard at places where most people converge, Esquivel said in a statement. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency