MANILA, Philippines – While Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa reminded the public to be vigilant against terrorist threats at crowded areas like cemeteries during All Saints' Day, no major incidents have been reported as of Wednesday afternoon, November 1.
Minor incidents in Central Visayas
In Central Visayas, Undas was relatively peaceful and orderly as of noontime, according to the regional police.
“We are happy that the public is cooperating with the police even with the strict security measures we are implementing in cemeteries,” said Police Regional Office (PRO) VII Director Jose Mario Espino.
So far, no major incidents related to the observance of All Saints’ Day were reported in the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, and Siquijor.
In Cebu City, thousands of people trooped to the major cemeteries – the Carreta and Calamba cemeteries – to visit their departed loved ones. Espino said the relatively good weather prompted more people to visit the cemeteries early.
As of noon time, the police have seized bladed weapons, mostly those used in clearing tombs of weeds and plants, and bottles of alcoholic drinks.
Wanted man arrested in Cebu City
At the Carreta Cemetery, the police arrested a 27-year-old wanted man for carrying an unlicensed .38 caliber revolver inside the cemetery undetected by security personnel manning the entrance.
Waterfront Police Station chief Senior Inspector Jovito Labra said a concerned citizen informed the police about the suspect, Rolito Fernandez, who was seen carrying a .38 revolver inside the cemetery.
Labra said Fernandez, whom they found out has an arrest warrant for robbery, was immediately arrested by authorities.
Aside from deploying hundreds of policemen and security personnel at the different cemeteries in Central Visayas, Espino said policemen have also been deployed in various tourist destinations in the region.
Security measures at Duterte parents' grave
In Davao City, the police have deployed forces to secure the Davao Roman Catholic Cemetery, also known as the Wireless Cemetery, for President Rodrigo Duterte's possible visit to his parents' grave on Wednesday.
"The President is probably visiting so we've tightened our security there," Senior Police Inspector Maria Theresita Gaspan said in a radio interview on Monday, October 30.
"We've also mounted a security plan from road security down to perimeter security," added Gaspan.
In 2016, his first Undas as president, Duterte nearly failed to pay respects to his parents' grave due to bad weather.
The President visits the grave of his parents – Davao Governor Vicente Gonzales Duterte and educator Soledad Roa – during All Saints' Day and on their death anniversaries and birthdays.
The President just returned from an official trip to Japan on Tuesday night.
Bookmark this page for updates from various parts of the country. – with reports from Mick Basa and Mars W. Mosqueda Jr/Rappler.com