BUTUAN CITY -- Around 4,300 police personnel were deployed to secure cemeteries and travel hubs throughout the five provinces of the Caraga Region for the All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day commemorations, an official of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-Caraga said.

Police Superintendent Martin Gamba, PRO-Caraga Regional Operations and Plans Division officer-in-charge, said the policemen were deployed under Oplan Ligtas Undas 2017 to the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Dinagat Island’s.

Gamba said the number of policemen deployed this year is bigger compared to 2016.

“The deployment for Undas this year is bigger compared to 2016. Last year we only had around 3,426 police personnel in the ground. This year, we expect the biggest number of people will be on cemeteries closest to town centers or the key cities in the region and especially Butuan City, which is the region’s capital,” Gamba said.

Gamba said the policemen were directed to secure around 1,961 ‘key places of convergence’ such as cemeteries, bus terminals, and ports.

Chief Superintendent Rolando Felix, regional director of PRO 13, pointed out in a statement that he has ordered the police force to provide maximum-security coverage and public safety services during the celebration of the long-held national tradition.

Felix said on November 1 and 2, an additional 265 personnel from the PRO 13 headquarters and National Support Units who’s offices are inside the PRO 13 compound were also deployed to the cemeteries in Butuan City and adjacent municipalities.

Police Chief Inspector Renel Serrano, officer-in-charge of the public information office of PRO13, earlier said the tighter security measures implemented this year comes at the heels of a series of attacks by the New People’s Army (NPA).

“This year more than one thousands police personnel has been added to be deployed and part of this is because a portion of the Public Safety police forces are on full alert against the threat of NPA attacks and harassments. We’ve seen the series of violent atrocities committed by the NPA over the past two weeks, and so we want to maximized our presence as these armed group might take advantage of the situation and sabotage the event,” Serrano said.