EXCEPT for the items that were confiscated from some individuals in cemeteries nationwide, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Wednesday that no major crime or incident was reported during All Saints’ Day.
As of posting time, the PNP National Operations Center (PNP-NOC) said 1,170 prohibited items were confiscated. These include 194 bladed or pointed weapons, 108 alcoholic drinks, 508 flammable materials, and three playing cards.
At the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina, emergency response officer Theresa Fajardo of the National Capital Region-Reserve Command Department told The Manila Times that the situation was “generally peaceful” as cemetery goers braved the rain to visit their dead.
“Generally peaceful yung situation dito sa Marikina. Wala namang kaguluhan so far dahil na rin sa ulan at higpit ng seguridad,” Fajardo said.
(The situation here in Marikina is generally peaceful maybe because of the rain and tight security.)
“We are expecting 30,000 cemetery goers within the day kapag gumanda yung weather [once the weather improves]. Kaya lang mas marami ang pumunta dito last year [However, there were more people last year],” said PO3 Alex Apolonio of the Marikina Police Station.
Apolonio said that as of 11 a.m., only 7,000 came to visit their loved ones.
Rescue teams, guide posters and information desks were stationed by the entrance of the cemetery to assist visitors.
No casualties have been recorded.
PNP-NOC said in a statement that 26,040 PNP personnel were deployed nationwide. A total of 5,303 assistance hubs were set up to help pedestrian.
There were also 14,145 road safety marshals were deployed in major thoroughfares and roads leading to cemeteries to assist the motorists.
Meanwhile, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) sent 14,000 lawmen all over Metro Manila to man the flow of people going in and out of cemeteries.
NCRPO Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde said in a statement on Tuesday night that 5,355 policemen, together with 3,704 barangay tanods (village watchmen); 9,163 security guards, and 1,067 volunteers, were assigned to secure the cemeteries all over Metro Manila.
“This is a total of 13,934 joining forces to ensure the safety and security of our Undas 2017,” Albayalde said.
Albayalde briefed law enforcers securing 82 cemeteries, 21 columbaries, 182 churches, 75 bus terminals, two seaports, and four airports. He said security patrols were also conducted in residential areas.
“Coordination has been made with local government units and other government agencies,” Albayalde said.
According to Albayalde, assistance desks were also placed in all ports, bus terminals, churches, and other places where there are large numbers of people.
PNP posted on Facebook an information graph on the “dos and don’ts” when visiting cemeteries, which included “not bringing bladed weapons, “giving children identification cards, and “knowing the police assistance desks”.
“We will also have quick reaction teams on standby ready for deployment should any situation arise,” Albayalde said.
Albayalde thanked the non-government organization volunteers who registered to help the police to assist pedestrians and civilians visiting their dead loved ones.
“Finally, we deployed our skeletal forces as early as October 30 and will fully deploy our personnel from October 31 to November 1, possibly until November 2,” Albayalde said.