GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/27 October) — The Police Regional Office 12 placed all police units in the region on full alert starting Monday in connection with the upcoming observance of the All Saints Day and All Souls Day.
Chief Supt. Lester Camba, Region 12 police director, said such move is part of the comprehensive security plan that they adopted for the holidays on Saturday and Sunday as well as the school semestral break.
Dubbed operation plan or Oplan Undas, he said their operations are mainly focused on cemeteries, churches and other public areas of convergence within the region.
Also known as Soccsksargen, Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
“The full alert status is effective (starting) today in all police offices, stations and support units in the whole region,” Camba said.
Under a full alert, he said all police officers and personnel are required to remain in their assigned posts or assignments on 24-hour duty and all leave privileges are cancelled.
He said police units are required to increase their visibility within their areas of responsibility and enhance their intelligence and counterintelligence activities.
Camba said they will deploy within the next few days some personnel assigned at the regional headquarters to augment the operations of local police stations and offices.
He said they will specifically assign in their original areas of residence or where their families are based or settled.
“This way, they can still visit or join their families and relatives in observing the holidays and at the same time remain on duty,” he said.
Aside from securing the cemeteries and churches, Camba said he directed their personnel through a memorandum order issued last October 20 to monitor local resorts, malls and other tourist destinations in the area.
Since the All Saints Day and All Souls Day fall on the regular school semestral breaks, he said they also expect the influx of local and foreign tourists to the area during the period.
“Our heightened alert status and security operations will continue until the Christmas holidays,” he added.
For his part, Sr. Supt. Jose Briones, South Cotabato police director, said they have already set all the necessary security measures for the weekend holidays.
“We adopted our usual security plan but we also reviewed and revisited it to make it suitable with the present situation,” he said.
Briones urged residents to cooperate with local law enforcement units and be on alert for possible moves by peace saboteurs.
He added that residents should always make security as among their primary considerations when going to cemeteries and other places during the holidays. (MindaNews)