Holy Week generally peaceful: PNP

MANILA -- The nation's observance of the Holy Week was generally peaceful, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Monday.

PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa made this assessment from updated field reports from the Police Regional Offices received by the PNP National Operations Center (NOC) for the Holy Week leg of Ligtas SUMVAC 2018 security and public safety operations.

The PNP chief said it will be up to regional directors to maintain the current full alert condition as they deem necessary until after travelers and motorists have safely returned to their homes from the long holiday.

As of final count, 35,390 police personnel -- manning 5,039 Police Assistance Centers -- were deployed in strategic locations to assist travelers and motorists returning to the urban centers.

“We thank the general public for cooperating with the Philippine National Police as we continue to serve you and ensure their safety during this summer vacation,” Dela Rosa said.

The PNP embarked on a 90-day summer security and public safety plan from the graduation week March through the Holy Week, onwards to the Flores de Mayo and fiesta season in May until the opening of classes in June.

The NOC did not monitor any significant or serious incident that threatened general peace and order, and internal security as of 6 a.m. on Monday except for vehicle accidents, drowning and sea mishaps.

Thirty-nine reports of drowning incidents in 10 regions around the country: 10 incidents were reported in Calabarzon, nine in Central Luzon, eight in the Cagayan Valley Region, five in Bicol, two in Davao and one incident each in Northern Luzon, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Southern Mindanao and Caraga regions.

The PNP Operations Center also received reports of 10 vehicular accidents: four in Central Luzon, two in Bicol and one incident each in Cordillera, Caraga and Cagayan Valley regions.

PNP rescue units responded to three sea mishaps that happened Western Visayas and Caraga region during the Holy Week, while under investigation are two cases of theft and two physical injury cases reported in Central Luzon and Caraga regions.

From Maundy Thursday until Black Saturday (March 31), the NOC monitored 16 separate internal security incidents in Mindanao and Luzon involving threat groups and criminal elements.

These include the series of skirmishes between government troops and New People’ Army rebels in Misamis Oriental; a landmine explosion in Camarines Sur; harassment in Masbate; separate encounters in Camarines Norte, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, and Davao del Sur, and an IED explosion in Sulu. (PNA)