AROUND 62, 500 policemen has been placed on red alert in line with the Nov. 1 & 2 observance of All Saints and All Souls Day in the country. Motorists Assistance Centers has also been set up by the PNP/DPWH throughout the country. (Photo TV grabbed by Ricky Bautista)

CATBALOGAN CITY – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has downgraded the alert condition of police troops throughout the country in observance of the All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day, November 1 & 2, 2012.

With this development, the PNP Directorate for Operations placed all Luzon-based and Visayas-based regional offices under heightened alert condition.

In Region 8, policemen has been deployed in various parts of the region to have a close watch to all cemeteries, private and public, to ensure a peaceful and orderly observance of the weeklong holidays.

Following the Letter of Instruction “Kalag-kalag, Paghinumdum,” Police Regional Office 8 (PRO8) director Police Chief Superintendent Elmer R. Soria ordered the maximum deployment of policemen and its civilian multipliers’ in all cemeteries, places of convergence and major thoroughfares throughout the region.

Also this week, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) also set up “Lakbay-Alalay” assistance centers in various strategic Maharlika Highways to assist the motorists travelling home.

In Catbalogan City, Senior Superintendent Avelino Doncillo informed that a troop of his men has been deployed to watch the two busiest cemeteries in the city – the Guinsorongan and Silanga public cemeteries.

“We have to do this police visibility to deter the possible commission of crimes,” Doncillo said.

The police official said the influx of people visiting their departed loved ones is considered by the lawless elements and threat groups “to execute hostile plans by sowing fear or create trouble in churches and cemeteries or hamper the normal flow of traffic along major routes leading to cemeteries.”

To counter these movements, Supt. Soria set up Police Assistance Centers (PACs) in cemeteries to protect and secure the crowd out to pay respect to their departed loved ones. Police visibility, to include mobile and beat patrol operations will be enhanced in areas of convergence including churches, transport hubs, malls, restaurants and beaches while emergency response teams will also be on hand for rapid deployment in times of trouble.

Likewise, checkpoints will be established in strategic areas, and motorist assistance centers in selected areas, to assist motorists in distress as commanders were further directed to review and update their security and traffic plans based on previous experiences and make the necessary preparations, the Regional Director added.

Sea ports, airports and bus terminals are also being closely secured in anticipation of the arrival of hordes of passengers coming to the region to pay their respects for their departed, the police official assured.

“While some criminals target crowded areas, others would take advantage of houses left vacant by vacationing families. Increased police patrols would be conducted around residential areas to negate these criminal activities”, the police official further averred.

Meanwhile, both the DPWH and the PNP advised the travelling motorists to ensure roadworthiness of their vehicles.

“They must follow the “BLOWBAG” rule. Battery, Light, Oil, Water, Brakes, Air, and Gas must be checked before hitting the road,” the agencies advised.