According to the Philippine National Police (PNP) this year’s observance of UNDAS was peaceful nationwide. Only a few minor incidents were recorded, said PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Benigno Durana Jr, in a statement on Thursday. Regional and local police offices have been reporting an overall lack of serious untoward incidence as Filipinos observed All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
At the Manila North Cemetery, the crowd volume reached 1.2 million on Thursday afternoon. One young man was cause attempting to sneak in two sachets of suspected marijuana into the cemetery, but he was apprehended. Some visitors were also caught gambling or violating noise ordinances, mostly through karaoke. Seven children were brought to the administrative office of the cemetery after being separated from their families in the crowd. They were all later reunited with their guardians.
To prepare for this year’s Undas, 3,000 MMDA personnel were deployed to facilitate peaceful observance of the holidays. 30,000 police were deployed to monitor security nationwide. Bus terminals also underwent inspections by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to ensure the safety of travelers.
In Davao, the Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 congratulated their units for the peaceful observance.
“Maganda yung kanilang pag-screen ng mga passengers and even yung pumapasok sa cemetery, talagang pinapatupad nila yung mga bawal ipasok, like bladed weapons (They conducted the screening of all passengers well and the people going inside the cemeteries. They thoroughly checked banned items, like bladed weapons),” said PRO-11 head, Chief Supt. Marcelo Morales. Morales himself personally inspected the security protocols implemented in at least 10 cemeteries in Davao City.
In Antique, police distributed flyers with safety tips for Undas. The provincial police also set up assistance desks by October 31 though “Oplan Kaluluwa”. These were placed in areas with expected high crowd convergence, such as cemeteries. A total of 257 police personnel were deployed in the province to monitor cemeteries, bus terminals, malls, plazas, and other tourist destinations.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo previously said that the government was doing all that it could to ensure the safety of all during Undas. The preparations, including police deployments and checkpoints, were vital to ensuring that no incidents happened.
“The government will be doing its part but we also ask the public for cooperation to ensure that we will have a solemn and orderly observance of this Filipino tradition,” said Panelo.