At least 1,800 policemen will secure the cemeteries in Manila during the observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day 9 (undas) , which Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada expected could draw up to two million people.
As he tasked the Manila Police District (MPD) to begin its security preparations, Estrada assured the public the city government will utilize all its resources to maintain peace and order during the holidays.
“As with the previous years, we don’t take any chances when it comes to the safety and convenience of the cemetery-goers,” Estrada said.
MPD director Chief Supt. Joel Coronel said deployment of security personnel will begin on October 27 until November 2, focusing on four biggest cemeteries in Manila.
These are the 54-hectare Manila North Cemetery in Sta. Cruz, the largest in Metro Manila; La Loma Catholic Cemetery, Manila Chinese Cemetery, and Manila South Cemetery, which is located in Makati City but still part of the territory of Manila. October 31 and November 1 have been declared special non-working holidays nationwide.
“For all those days when we will have deployment, October 27 to November 2, we will be deploying close to 1,800 policemen. So round the clock, starting Friday afternoon, October 27, for all those cemeteries mentioned,” Coronel said.
Patrols and checkpoints in strategic areas will also be put up, he added.
Various City Hall offices such as the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (MDRRMO), the Manila Health Department (MHD), Department of Public Order and Safety, and the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB) will also assist the MPD, Coronel said.
A week before October 27, Coronel also said that they will be conducting “sustained police operations” inside the big cemeteries to get rid of vagrants and criminal elements lurking there.
Coronel said the crowd estimate at the cemeteries last year was about 1.5 to million.
Coronel also said reminded the public that bag inspections will be stringent at the cemetery entrances; alcoholic drinks, gambling paraphernalia, loud speakers, and deadly weapons such as knives are prohibited. Cooking inside the cemeteries is also not allowed.