A drone shot shows vehicles at the NLEX Balintawak toll barrier yesterday. Bus terminals and tollways experience a surge in passengers and motorists during the Holy Week exodus.
Walter Bollozos
PNP: Security measures in place for Holy Week
Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - April 18, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — All security measures are in place to ensure the safety of the public during Holy Week, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said yesterday.

Albayalde said they deployed over 91,000 police officers nationwide to secure vital installations, tourist destinations, transportation hubs and other places of convergence.

Albayalde said the PNP has not monitored any imminent threat that could disrupt the Lenten season, saying the deployment of nearly half of their personnel is just a proactive measure.

“Even if there is no threat, we are always on alert and our intelligence monitoring should always be in place,” Albayalde said.

President Duterte and his officials are ready to respond to any situation during Holy Week, Malacañang said, as it urged the public to cooperate with authorities to ensure a peaceful observance of the Lenten season.

Cabinet Secretary Carlo Nograles said Duterte could perform his functions even if he is spending Holy Week in Davao City.

“There’s always a skeletal force and even if the President is in Davao, he is always joined by the PMS (Presidential Management Staff),” Nograles said.

“If he (Duterte) is needed, he can go to Malacañang Palace. He can operate from Davao, it’s not a problem. All important institutions like hospitals will still function even if it is Holy Week,” he added.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said some government agencies have been placed on heightened alert status to ensure the safety and security of the public.

“Public safety continues to be our top priority. These include additional security deployments in different areas of convergence, such as bus terminals, airports, seaports, vital government and private installations, churches, malls and other public recreation areas,” Panelo said.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), on the other hand, has placed all agencies under its supervision on full alert status to ensure a peaceful and orderly Lenten season.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said placing the PNP, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) and Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) on the highest alert status will safeguard the public from criminals.

He also tasked local government units (LGUs) to implement stringent security measures during the observance of Holy Week.

“Criminals do not rest, so the DILG and its attached agencies must not rest as well. The security of the people is a paramount priority especially during religious events such as the Lenten season which is why the LGUs and law enforcement agencies must be on top of their game,” Año said.

Año ordered local chief executives and police commanders to secure airports, seaports, transportation terminals, churches, pilgrimages and other places of convergence in their respective jurisdictions.

He also commended the PNP for deploying 91,000 cops nationwide for route security target hardening, and security operations. – With Alexis Romero

HOLYWEEK LENT PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE
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