PNP reports ‘orderly, peaceful’ All Saints’ Day

Published November 1, 2019, 4:52 PM

by Martin Sadongdong & Antonio Colina

By Martin Sadongdong 

This year’s observance of the All Saints’ Day on Friday, November 1, was generally orderly and peaceful across the country, according to security officials.

Thousands flock to Manila North Cemetery on Friday, ahead of All Souls' Day. (ALI VICOY / MANILA BULLETIN)
Thousands flock to Manila North Cemetery on Friday, ahead of All Souls’ Day.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said no untoward incident was recorded as of 12 noon, with 35,000 police personnel and 99,000 force multipliers securing cemeteries, columbaria, bus terminals, seaports, airports, parks and other places of convergence.

Police Lieutenant General Archie Gamboa, PNP officer-in-charge, said the police force will remain on full alert status until November 3 to ensure the safety of those who chose not to go along with the usual influx of people in cemeteries on November 1.

“Peace and order situation nationwide remains normal with no untoward incident reported,” said Brigadier General Bernard Banac, PNP spokesperson.

“People continue to flock to cemeteries with police on full alert to respond to any call for assistance and prevent any occurrence of crime,” he added.

In Metro Manila, Brigadier General Debold Sinas, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director, said the situation was also generally peaceful while stricter security was implemented with the deployment of bomb experts and K9 units in cemeteries.

“So far, the situation was orderly and all plans and policies of cemeteries were implemented and being followed,” Sinas said after his inspection at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City, the biggest cemetery at the eastern side of Metro Manila, and Laloma Catholic Cemetery.

Sinas earlier visited the Manila North Cemetery.

Data from the NCRPO said a total of 744,490 persons visited various cemeteries and columbaria in Metro Manila as of 12 p.m.

This was lower than the recorded data in 2018, where the number of visitors peaked at 1 million by noontime in Metro Manila.

An estimated 14.6 million visited cemeteries and columbaria nationwide on November 1, 2018.

Sinas also noted that the banning of vendors at the main entrance of Loyola Memorial Park and Manila North Cemetery helped in maintaining the peace and order in said areas.

Crime statistics in Metro Manila from October 28 to October 30 this year also went down by at least 20 percent compared to the same period last year.

The NCRPO director said 128 crimes were recorded in Metro Manila in the said period in 2019, lower than the 176 crimes noted in 2018.

However, the crime trend remained the same as the top three crimes were theft, robbery and physical injury.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) also deployed additional forces to ensure the safety of cemetery-goers.

The Joint Task Force-National Capital Region (JTF-NCR) said the soldiers were to augment security forces at Manila North and South cemeteries, Quiapo and San Sebastian churches, LRT and MRT stations, malls and other places of convergence until November 3.

READ MORE: Thousands flock to Manila’s 3 largest cemeteries for All Saints’ Day