All Saints’ Day ‘orderly, peaceful’-A A +A
Friday, November 2, 2012
CEBU CITY -- The observance of All Saints’ Day in Cebu and the rest of Central Visayas was peaceful and orderly, according to the police and local government officials.
A minor scuffle among vendors at the Carreta Cemetery in Cebu City, a robbery in the City of Naga and heavy traffic did not prevent people from visiting the graves of their loved ones.
Police personnel and barangay tanods guarded cemeteries to divest visitors of sharp objects, liquor and glass bottles.
Police Regional Office Central Visayas Director Marcelo Garbo said there were no untoward incidents reported from different cemeteries in Central Visayas on Thursday.
Traffic enforcers were deployed in cemeteries to facilitate traffic and enforce parking restrictions, but roads within the vicinity of graveyards were still congested.
Medical assistance desks were set up at cemeteries in Metro Cebu for emergencies.
Medardo Batiller, operations chief of the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation (ERUF), advised those who have maintenance medication to take their medicines before leaving their homes.
Health workers also urged the public to protect themselves against the heat and dehydration.
In Mandaue, Superintendent Petronelli Baldebrin of the Mandaue City Police Office said about 12,000 people flocked to cemeteries on Thursday.
“So far, the situation is very normal. We haven’t noted any unusual incident,” said Baldebrin, adding that about 200 police officers were deployed in cemeteries in the city.
In Lapu-Lapu, 96 police officers, eight members of the Philippine Air Force and 135 tanods guarded four cemeteries.
Superintendent Rey Lyndon Lawas, chief of the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office, said that the observance of All Saints’ Day was peaceful.
In Cebu City, Mayor Michael Rama inspected different cemeteries and declared everything to be in order.
He pointed, however, that the entrance at Carreta Cemetery should be on the right.
A commotion ensued when vendors fought for a good spot at the new entrance, but they calmed down when police personnel arrived.
Vendors Cecilia Ginatilian, 29, and Elel Opsiquias, 35, suffered cuts and bruises during their scuffle.
Rama told the Department of Public Services and the barangay environmental officers to collect the garbage at cemeteries to maintain cleanliness.
“Pareha ra na sa Sinulog nga importante ig-human, malimpyo tanan (Just like during the Sinulog, everything has to be clean after),” he said.
In the City of Naga, PO2 Gilmer Noval said two unidentified men on a motorcycle robbed Cristine Olila and Maribelle Regis at gunpoint.
Olila and Maribelle were standing along the highway in Barangay Tuyan at 4 a.m. while waiting for a bus to take them to Asturias. The robbers took their cell phones and cash, totaling P1,100.
Despite the incident, Naga deputy police chief Inspector Reuben Renes said the All Souls’ Day observation was peaceful and orderly.
Naga policemen guarding the entrance of cemeteries reported that there were no prohibited items seized but there problems related to vendors blocking entrances.
Cemeteries in Talisay City and Minglanilla town were also peaceful.
Cebu City Police Office Director Melvin Ramon Buenafe reported that some bladed weapons and liquor were seized from cemetery goers in Carreta.
He also noted that security measures Cebu City cemeteries were also improved with the installation of additional cameras.
“This is a whole new improvement. Last year, we just had two CCTVs but now it’s four each,” he said.
“Mas hapsay karon (It’s more orderly this year),” said Cebu Provincial Police Office Chief Patrocinio Comendador.
He said the recent holidays may have allowed some people to visit cemeteries earlier. (RSB/PDF/JKV/DSM/JBT of Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 02, 2012.