By Martin Sadongdong
The Philippine National Police (PNP) announced today that the just concluded Holy Week 2018 was “generally peaceful” but anti-drugs operations continued across the country which resulted to the death of seven alleged drug personalities and arrest of 811 others.
PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa said that from March 28 to April 1, four drug targets died in various drug stings in Central Luzon (Region 3), and one each in Calabarzon (Region 4A), Soccsksargen (Region 12) and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
He, however, said that there were no Tokhang (knock and plead) operations during the same period since under the new operational guidelines, it would only be conducted during “office hours.” Tokhang operations are supposed to be conducted from Monday to Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
During the same period, 39 reports of drowning incidents were noted in ten regions across the country, based on the records of the PNP’s National Operations Center (NOC).
Furthermore, he stated that 10 incidents were reported in Calabarzon, nine in Central Luzon, eight in the Cagayan Valley Region (Region 2), five in Bicol Region (Region 5), two in Davao Region (Region 11) and one each in the Ilocos-Pangasinan Region (Region 1), Central Visayas (Region 7), Eastern Visayas (Region 8), Northern Mindanao (Region 10), and Caraga Region (13).
The PNP also received reports of ten vehicular accidents including four cases in Central Luzon, two in Bicol and one each in Cordillera, Caraga and Cagayan Valley regions.
Meanwhile, PNP rescue units responded to three sea mishaps in Western Visayas and Caraga region, while a total of two theft and two physical injury cases were reported in Central Luzon and Caraga regions.
Dela Rosa said that there were 16 separate internal security incidents in Mindanao and Luzon involving threat groups and criminal elements from Maundy Thursday (March 29) to Black Saturday (March 31).
“These include the series of skirmishes between government troops and New People’s Army dissident terrorists in Misamis Oriental; a landmine explosion in Camarines Sur; harassment in Masbate; separate encounters in Camarines Norte, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, and Davao del Sur, and an IED [improvised explosive device] explosion in Sulu,” he said in detail.
The PNP chief assured the public that the alert security in the country remains high even after the Lenten season as about 35,300 police personnel remain posted in 5,039 police assistance centers to aid travelers and motorists who are returning to the urban centers.
“Well, I have delegated the authority to declare the full alert level to the regional directors (RDs) so depending on their assessment kung hanggang kailan nakataas ang security (until when their security is heightened),” he said.
“We thank the general public for cooperating with the Philippine National Police as we continue to serve you and ensure their safety during this summer vacation,” Dela Rosa said.
The monitoring of PNP’s National Operations Center forms part of its Oplan SumVac 2018, a 90-day summer security and public safety plan from March 23 to June 13.