77,000 cops, barangay security in Metro Manila cemeteries for Undas
In this file photo, a girl cleans a niche in the apartment-type tombs at the Bagbag cemetery in Quezon City. The government has ordered the closure of all cemeteries from Oct. 29 to Nov. 4.
The STAR/Boy Santos
77,000 cops, barangay security in Metro Manila cemeteries for Undas
(Philstar.com) - October 28, 2020 - 11:16am

MANILA, Philippines — With all cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbariums closed from October 29 to November 4, Metro Manila's police district is set to deploy over 77,000 cops to "secure" more than 100 cemeteries in and around the Metro, it said Wednesday. 

In a statement, the National Capital Region Police Office disclosed that of the figure, 12,000 are cops while the rest are force multipliers including barangay watchmen and local government personnel. As of this post, the NCRPO said, 29,000 police elements have already been deployed to cemeteries. 

Police Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas, NCRPO chief, projected an increase in the number of visitors in cemeteries before their closure on October 29 to November 4. During this period, only 30% of the cemeteries’ capacity are allowed to enter, and sleeping overnight is prohibited.

“The president gave this directive as early as September. We expect all LGUs to cooperate by ensuring that cemeteries within their localities are closed. This is to avoid mass gatherings amid the pandemic,” interior secretary Eduardo Año said in a separate statement.

“The local police commanders and the mayors by now should have discussed the rules that would be implemented per locality but all these local rules that would be crafted should conform to the guidelines set by the IATF,” he also said.

The interior chief reminded the public that the danger has not passed and urged the strict and proper observation of minimum health and safety standard protocols. 

Earlier, the Joint Task Force COVID Shield, the quarantine enforcement arm of the coronavirus task force, also disclosed that it will be deploying cops to man assistance desks at cemetery entrances to monitor the entry and exit of people. 

“During the pandemic, we are asking for the people’s cooperation by not going to the cemeteries, staying at home on October 29 to November 4, 2020 and visiting their departed relatives days before or weeks after the closure,” he said.

“Maaari naman pong makadalaw sa mga sementeryo ang ating mga kababayan kahit anong edad bago o matapos ang itinakda at ipinagbabawal na mga araw. Ito naman po ay para rin sa kabutihan ng nakararami,” he added.

(Our countrymen can visit the cemeteries at any time before or after the prohibited days. This is also for the good of the majority.)

As of the health department's latest case bulletin Tuesday afternoon, the national caseload stands at 371,630. 

— Franco Luna 

COVID-19 DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT DILG JOINT TASK FORCE COVID SHIELD JTF CV SHIELD NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION POLICE OFFICE NCRPO NOVEL CORONAVIRUS PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE PNP
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