By Aaron Recuenco
Almost 12,000 policemen will be deployed in Metro Manila to secure various places in the metropolis as the mass exodus of people to their respective provinces begins tomorrow for the long Lenten break.
The police force will be augmented by 500 soldiers and 100 reservists from the Armed Forces of the Philippines; most of them will be deployed in bus stations, sea ports and airports as well as Catholic churches in Metro Manila.
Director Oscar Albayalde, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office, said they also tapped the services of 24,887 force multipliers, mostly barangay security officers and security guards, to support and help the police in monitoring and securing peace and order situations.
“The National Capital Region Police Office deployed 11,871 policemen all over Metro Manila to address any emerging security issues and threats this holy week and summer vacation,” said Albayalde in a press briefing at Camp Crame Tuesday.
“Deployed cops are tasked to focus on target hardening measures, secure places of convergence, transportation hubs and terminals, as well as to secure and monitor routes security,” he added.
Albayalde said some of the 11,871 policemen will also man the police assistance desks in the usual crowded places as well as the entry and exit points of Metro Manila.
While they have not received serious terror threats, Albayalde said they will not take anything lightly and will further strengthen the security template usually being implemented during Lenten break.
Aside from students and workers going to the provinces, he said they are also anticipating the influx of people who would take a vacation in Metro Manila.
“I have already ordered all District Directors and Station Commanders to sustain the implementation of war against illegal drugs and criminality, strengthen police visibility, Police Assistance Desks (PADs) and other pre-emptive measures while the public are observing the Lenten Season,” said Albayalde.
The official said that policemen would partner with barangay security officers in the conduct of routine patrols in residential areas which are expected to be vacated as some Metro residents would take the long Lenten break as an opportunity for a vacation in the provinces or outside the country.
Director General Ronald dela Rosa, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), earlier said that all police forces across the country are already in the highest security alert status.
“This is to ensure availability of our personnel to secure the public,” said dela Rosa.
He said police commanders especially in communist rebel-infested areas were also instructed to conduct target-hardening measures in anticipation of attacks for the New People’s Army anniversary on March 29.
Albayalde said that should there be any security concern and issues, the public is encouraged to report immediately to the nearest police stations or through the following hotlines:
1. NCRPO 838-3203
2. Text Hotlines:0915-888-8181 and 0999-901-8181
3. National Emergency Hotline – 911
4. Itaga Mo Sa Bato – 2286;
5. Northern Police District 285-2396/285-2838/287-3717 and Text Hotline: 0905 – 454 – 2547
6. Eastern Police District 641-0171/ 641-0877 and Text Hotlines: 0917 – 728 – 3790
7. Manila Police District 523-1367/ 523-3378 and Text Hotlines: 0919 – 995 – 0976 / 0917 – 899 – 2092
8. Southern Police District 519-5525 / 519-8644 and Text Hotline: 0908 – 377 – 0025
9. Quezon City Police District 925-8417 and Text Hotline: 0917-861-1870