GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/11 April) — Around 500 police personnel will deployed in various strategic areas in the city starting weekend in connection with the observance of the Holy Week.
Supt. Rolly Octavio, deputy city police director for administration, said Friday they will place all police units in the city under heightened alert starting on Sunday to ensure the area’s security during the week-long Lenten break.
“All police personnel will be on full duty and all leave privileges would be cancelled during the Holy Week,” he said.
The official said such move was based on a directive issued by the Philippine National Police central office to all police units in the country.
The directive specifically mentioned the full implementation of the PNP’s operation plan summer vacation or Oplan Sumvac starting with the Holy Week break.
Octavio said they have assigned police teams to secure various vital government installations and public utilities as well as major areas of convergence during the Holy Week.
These include public transport terminals, the city airport, shopping malls and related establishments, resorts and local churches, he said.
He said all police boxes, assistance centers and checkpoints, especially those located in the entry and exit points of the city, will be fully operational during the period.
Mobile police teams will be assigned to conduct regular patrols and security operations in various public places and residential areas, he said.
“We will be setting up additional police assistance centers in our resorts, airport, public transport terminals and portions of our highways,” Octavio said.
He said these activities will be implemented in close coordination with the Philippine Army-led Joint Task Force GenSan and other law enforcement units based in the city.
Among the priority areas that will be covered by the intensified security operations are the Queen Tuna Park here and the beach resorts in Barangays Calumpang and Tambler.
At the Queen Tuna Park, which has a public beach area, authorities are expecting about a thousand visitors per day during the Holy Week break.
The city government has recorded a surge in the number of visitors at the park since last month following the sightings of several whale sharks or “butandings” a few meters from its shores. (MindaNews)