Hundreds of cops deployed for 'Oplan Kaluluwa' in Bicol

Hundreds of police officers will be deployed to beef up existing security forces across the six provinces of Bicol as a safety measure for the upcoming All Souls' Day on Sunday, the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Bicol said Wednesday.

Police Senior Inspector Malu Calubaquib, PNP Bicol spokesperson, said police checkpoints and assistance centers will be set up in cemeteries, major highways, airports, seaports and bus terminals as security measures on All Souls' Day, a religious tradition observed throughout the country.

Calubaquib said security preparations are in place for “Oplan Kaluluwa", where additional policemen will be deployed to support various police assistance centers set up in cemeteries, terminals, ports and highways.

She said the PNP in Bicol will be on a full alert status, policemen will not be allowed to go on leave and those who are on leave will be recalled and be put on duty during the religious observance.

“The measure would ensure the safety of all residents and visitors that will be arriving here to observe All Souls' Day,” Calubaquib said.

The police assistance centers will assist incoming and outgoing passengers in the cities of Naga, Legazpi, and Masbate and in Virac town in Catanduanes.

She said checkpoints will be set up to assist motorists and other visitors from other places.

Security checks will strictly be enforced in bus terminals and major seaports across the region, she added.

Calubaquib said they are closely coordinating with the Department of Transportation and Communications, Department of Public Works and Highways, Philippine Army, Department of Health and civic organizations to implement Oplan Kaluluwa in the six provinces of Bicol.

In Albay, Police Senior Supt. Marlo Meneses, PNP provincial director, said in an interview the Oplan Kaluluwa has been activated with the assignment of additional policemen from the Provincial Public Safety Battalion to assist in maintaining checkpoints, assistance centers, and police visibility in over 50 Catholic and public cemeteries and private memorial parks across the province.

Meneses said that in close coordination with various local government units and non-government organization, they will strictly prohibit the bringing of alcoholic beverages, deadly weapons and other prohibitive items inside the cemetery.

He also advised residents to secure their house before going to the cemetery to pay respects to their departed relatives.

The operational plan will be on a 24-hour duty and the police personnel will be manning various airports, major seaports, bus terminals, malls, and private and public cemeteries across the region.

They will also provide traffic, security and medical assistance to commuters coming from other regions and provinces who are taking their vacations for the All Souls' Day.

“We shall issue advisories to the public containing the standard operating procedures or the 'dos' and 'don’ts' with regard to the observance of All Saints' Day,” Meneses said. (by Mar S. Arguelles, PNA)