Santiago City—Criminals resort to robbery and stealing when people go out to honor their dead during “Undas” or the All Saints’ Day holiday, but about 400 police officers here are ready to stop them, the city police chief said Tuesday.
In a press conference, Santiago City Police Office director Col. Juan R. Aggasid said he has mobilized the whole police force as it implements “Ligtas Undas 2019” from Nov. 1 to 3 to thwart and preempt any untoward incidents, such as thefts and house robberies.
“Its more rampant when people go outside their homes because robbers took advantage of empty houses. That why I’m mobilizing all 400 strong and capable police men and women to participate in the crime prevention of Undas 2019,” Aggasid said.
Police Lt. Col Efren T. Geraban, Deputy Director for Operations of the Police Community Affairs Development Branch, said: “The observance of the UNDAS is a tradition highly celebrated here in Santiago City.”
“That’s why we are maximizing our outmost police visibility to ensure that crimes would not break out especially in the cemeteries, in the national highways and in the homes of the residents when they go out to the cemeteries to visit their deceased love ones,” he said.
The Santiago police put up tarpaulins at the four cemeteries within the city to show the guidelines for what are allowed within the premises of the cemeteries and those that are prohibited inside. Liquor, videoke units, megaphones, deadly weapons and sharpened objects are banned.
Around 5,000 people are expected to troop to the Santiago Public Cemetery in Barangay Calaocan, City Memorial Cemetery in Rosario, Santiago Memorial Cemetery in Calaocan, and the cemetery in Barangay Nabbuan near the Nabbuan River.
Police Lt. Col. Cleto Arnel Atluna, Chief of Operations and Plans, said: “We sent communications to all our barangay officials, especially our barangay captains, to mobilize the barangay tanods in the cemeteries citywide to help monitor the Undas commemoration.”
Medics and rescuers are also stationed in each cemetery alongside police personnel.
Major Reynaldo Maggay, Commander of Police Station I, said: “Under my area of responsibility is the Nabbuan cemetery. This is a far-flung spot, and I had a force stationed there to prepare for any kind of incident, especially since during Undas some parents have their male children undergo circumcision in the Nabbuan River. We put up a check point near the river too and a medical team.”
Major Reynaldo Balunsat, Commander of Station 2, said: “Usual checkpoints are activated during the celebration of the All Souls Day and the traffic congestion peaks when the travelers are returning home. We had to deploy our men where police visibility is needed most.”
According to DILG Assistant Regional Director Elpidio A Durwin, “Ligtas Undas 2019” is not only about the police force going on red alert nationwide, “but for all our local chief executives to help in the safe and calm celebration of all Saints Day and All Souls Day and the two days after the celebration.
“This is a nationwide celebration that why we are expecting the cooperation of everyone,” Durwin said.