By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan
MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Easter Sunday remains on heightened alert as millions head back home after the Lenten break.
Police officers are deployed in bus terminals, airports and seaports, and major roads leading to the National Capital Region as early as Sunday morning, according to PNP Public Information chief Col. Redrico Maranan.
There are also policemen in areas of convergence such as major thoroughfares, transportation hubs, terminals, commercial areas, and places of worship.
“As instructed by our Chief PNP, Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr., our commanders were instructed to continue the security measures from roads to places of convergence until the end of the Holy Week,” Maranan said.
Part of the security measures, according to Maranan, are Assistance Hubs and Police Assistance Desks to assist the public and promptly address complaints.
The PNP’s “Ligtas Sumvac (Summer Vacation) 2023” also covers the month of Ramadan that will culminate on April 22.
More than 74,114 police officers are tasked to secure both Christian and Muslim religious celebrations.
So far, Maranan said they have not monitored serious security-related incidents except for reports of drowning incidents.
Meanwhile, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Maj. Gen. Edgar Allan Okubo urged the public to follow safety measures provided by the PNP to ensure a smooth journey.
“Ang paghahanda ng NCRPO ay hanggang sa buwan ng May. We are ready din sa pagbabalik ng mga vacationers nitong summer. Police visibility will continue. ‘Yung mga deployment sa mga PADs (police assistance desks) will continue as the time na makabalik na lahat sa safety ‘yung mga residents sa kanya kanyang mga bahay (The NCRPO’s preparations would extend until May. We are also ready for the return of vacationers from their summer break. Police visibility will continue, the deployment to the police assistance desks will continue until everyone returns to the safety of their homes),” Okubo said.
35 volunteer divers commended
Meanwhile, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. commended 35 volunteer divers for joining him in the successful underwater search and rescue operation for the Ati chieftain who went missing on April 5 after his fishing boat collided with a resort-operated speed boat off the Malay and Boracay channel.
“More than 30 Boracay dive shop operators with local and foreign divers participated in the search with just a short notice last night (April 7). Maraming, maraming salamat po sa mabilis ninyong pagtugon sa aming panawagan, sa inyong tulong at pagmamalasakit (Thank you very much for your immediate response to our call, and to your assistance and compassion),’’ Abalos said in a statement on Saturday.
The body of Coching, 64, was found shortly before noon.
His companion, Ricky Valencia, 37, was rescued right after the accident and is recuperating. (PNA)