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Metro

Metro security extra tight in cemeteries on All Saint’s Day

- Non Alquitran -
Because of the prevailing terrorist threat, security would be extra tight in cemeteries all over Metro Manila during the All Saint’s Day celebration on Nov. 1, especially in large and crowded cemeteries, police said yesterday.

However, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) is expecting a peaceful and solemn celebration as All Saint’s Day falls on a Tuesday and Malacañang is expected to declare a "long holiday."

This early, Senior Superintendent Felipe Rojas Jr., NCRPO intelligence chief, said they are intensifying intelligence-gathering operations to flush out terrorists from their locations or hiding places. "We are appealing for the public’s cooperation in the fight against terrorists by reporting to us new faces or suspicious-looking persons in their neighborhood," said Rojas.

At least half of the 17,000-strong NCRPO would be deployed to cemeteries, especially the big ones like the Chinese, La Loma and North cemeteries in Manila, the South Cemetery in Makati City, the Manila Memorial Cemetery in Parañaque City, and the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City.

The NCRPO will raise its alert level to heightened alert on All Saint’s Day, he added.

Days prior to the celebration, checkpoints will be erected in critical points of Metro Manila to prevent terrorists and criminal elements from sneaking in bombs, explosives and firearms, Rojas said.

The NCRPO would also conduct target-hardening operations in cemeteries by searching bags, packages and baggages.

"Because of the long weekend, we have ample time to prepare to make the celebration peaceful and solemn," Rojas told The Star.

According to Rojas, the NCRPO would implement city ordinances to prevent Filipinos visiting their departed loved ones from bringing bladed weapons, liquor and other banned items inside cemeteries.

The NCRPO intelligence chief said his men would also be monitoring the cemeteries for drug sessions and drug pushing activities.

"Our priority would be to prevent terrorist attacks but we have other operatives deployed to conduct anti-crime operations," said Rojas.

NCRPO chief Director Vidal Querol has ordered the five traffic enforcement districts to prepare re-routing plans to ease traffic in the vicinity of the cemeteries.

Querol also directed his five police district directors to set up complaint and monitoring centers within the cemeteries for the public to ask for directions and report crimes.

ALL SAINT

CEMETERIES

DIRECTOR VIDAL QUEROL

LA LOMA AND NORTH

LOYOLA MEMORIAL PARK

MAKATI CITY

MANILA MEMORIAL CEMETERY

METRO MANILA

NCRPO

ROJAS

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