GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- Police authorities have placed the entire Region 12 or Soccsksargen under full red alert in line with the observance of “undas” or All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
Chief Insp. Aldrin Gonzales, spokesperson for Police Regional Office-12, said Monday the heightened alert status took effect over the weekend based on the region’s comprehensive security plan.
“Our security measures are in place and all police officers and personnel will be on full deployment during the period,” he said.
The official said Chief Supt. Cedrick Train, Region 12 police director, ordered a “full blast deployment” starting Oct. 31 in all cemeteries and crowded public areas in the region like transport terminals and shopping malls.
He said the deployed personnel will be recalled from their assigned posts a day after the “undas” or on Nov. 2.
Gonzales said all personnel day offs and leaves, except sick and maternity, are cancelled starting Monday until Thursday to facilitate their full deployment.
Residents are expected to pack anew local cemeteries on All Saints’ Day, which is observed every Nov. 1. All Souls’ Day is observed Nov. 2.
Malacanang had declared Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 as special non-working holidays in connection with the observance of “undas.”
Gonzales said the regional office has assigned its officers to supervise the security operations in parts of Region 12.
The region comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and North Cotabato, and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
He said personnel assigned at the regional headquarters would also be deployed to augment some local police offices and stations.
The police official reiterated that the carrying of firearms, bladed weapons and alcoholic drinks is prohibited in all cemeteries.
He said they have assigned teams to secure and monitor the entry points of cemeteries in coordination with civil security personnel and barangay peacekeeping teams.
Aside from these, he said gambling and playing of loud music are also banned inside cemeteries.
“These are usual prohibitions and we’re expecting residents to fully cooperate with us to avoid possible problems,” he said.
Gonzales reminded residents to ensure that their homes are properly secured and locked before going to the cemeteries.(PNA)