THE first of the nine-day “Simbang Gabi” or dawn Mass in Metro Manila was peaceful as no major crime or incident was reported to police, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) announced Sunday.
For the first day of Simbang Gabi, NCRPO Director Guillermo made rounds in select churches in Manila particularly at Quiapo Church, Santa Cruz Church, Binondo Church, San Agustin Church and Manila Cathedral.
Eleazar praised the policemen deployed in the said churches as they were all attentive. He hoped it would continue until the last day of Simbang Gabi on December 24.
“Our policemen were awake. This is what we expect in the entire Metro Manila,” he said.
The NCRPO earlier announced that more than 1,000 policemen were deployed in about 300 places of worship in the metropolis.
For the entire Yuletide season, more than 7,800 personnel have been fielded in places of convergence and vital installations such as public markets, malls, churches, airports, LRT and MRT terminals, seaports and transport terminals.
“We also deployed our troops on roads leading to and coming from places of worship. This is to ensure the peace of mind of the public when they go to church. We expect that our policemen will assist them to maintain the peace and order in Metro Manila,” Eleazar said.
Meanwhile, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde ordered stepped-up police visibility and preventive patrol operations to ensure the safety and security of the church-goers.
“This is an important Filipino tradition that we cannot afford to miss. We are prepared to address any security issue that can possibly spoil this event,” Albayalde said.
Eleazar said no security threat has been monitored by the NCRPO although he emphasized that they were continuously working with the intelligence community to assess the situation in Metro Manila.
The NCRPO remains on heightened alert status, but Eleazar said it may be raised to full alert depending on circumstances.
Eleazar reiterated his reminder to the public to always be on alert against lawless criminals. (Martin Sadongdong)
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