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Police, TF Gensan all set for the observance of Holy Week

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (PIA) -- With the Holy Week coming full circle, both the police and the Task Force (TF) Gensan are all set for its observance in Region XII, also called Soccsksargen Region. 

All police units in the region have strengthened their security measures and are directed to ensure "maximum police presence" in crowded areas, according to Police Regional Office (PRO) 12 public information officer PLt. Col. Joyce Birrey during the Kapihan sa PIA on Tuesday (Apr. 4) at SM City General Santos.

She also said they have now kicked off their annual summer vacation (SumVac) dubbed “Ligtas SumVac 2023,” which includes the Holy Week massive information and security campaign, with at least 1,796 police personnel deployed in the whole region.

“The security campaign will ensure the safety of all travelers with the intensification of checkpoint operations by foot and mobile patrols,” she said.

Police presence can be expected in key areas such as transportation hubs like bus terminals, places of worship, major thoroughfares like national highways, commercial establishments like malls, and other places of convergence like offices and parks, including the 59 identified tourist spots in Region 12.

Ligtas SumVac 2023 will run from April 1 until May 30.

PCol. Jomar Alexis Yap, General Santos City Police Office (GSCPO) director, on the other hand, said that GSCPO’s security preparations for the observance of Holy Week this year have added the establishment of "motorist assistance centers" around the city.

“This is an inter-agency center na we provide for safe travel sa ating mga visiting 'yung mga uuwi nating mga kapamilya, mag-observe ng Holy Week,” he said.

Yap said the motorist assistance center is in collaboration with other government agencies such as the Task Force Gensan, the Bureau of Fire Protection, the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils, the City Health Office, and force multipliers, among others

“So right now, we have established 5 motorist assistance centers, 'yun ang na-identify natin. We have on diversion road, 'yung papasok ng Gensan, even palabas sa Sarangani, even sa mga tourist destinations, like 'yung Sanchez Peak,” the official explained, adding that they will be deploying more police force in strategic areas.

He said the deployment of police force in areas frequented by tourists or visitors is important to make them feel safe when they go hiking because “secured sila doon at the same time maiwasan din 'yung mga insidente ng sunog, the last time nagkaroon ng sunog doon, nahirapan 'yung Bureau of Fire na i-control 'yung area.”

Col. Yap reiterated that all necessary measures for the Easter Week are in place alongside their regular law enforcement activities.

In this observance, the GSCPO chief reminded the public to stay away from any deeds that are reprehensible and dishonorable, as he also conveyed his warm wishes to all the Muslims currently observing the Holy Month of Ramadan.

“Paalala ko lang, Holy Week ngayon. Sa mga Kristiyano, magpaka-sagrado naman tayo, kasi base doon sa report ng Crame, tumataas ang krimen. Nakakahiya naman kung sa atin pa magmumula, and also Happy Ramadan sa ating mga kapatid na Muslim. Kami ay kasama ninyo, na nagdadasal na maging maganda, maging maayos, peaceful na pinagdadasal itong sitwasyon natin, marami tayong pinagdadaanan, so sana itong Holy Week na 'to, itong Ramadan days natin, sana maisip natin, magbagong-buhay tayo, magbalik tayo sa ating Panginoon, ito lang 'yung chance natin magkaroon ng repentance. At sana magtuloy-tuloy na rin 'yung ating pagbabago.”

Meanwhile, Task Force Gensan executive officer Lt. Col. William Galanta Jr. also underlined the collaboration between the TF Gensan and the GSCPO.

He said the task force has an ongoing 24/7 checkpoints in Barangays Tinagacan, Apopong, Bawing, and other entry and exit points in Gensan in collaboration with the GSCPO.

Aside from the checkpoints, Galanta Jr. also stressed that the task force has proactively implemented continuous mobile and motor patrols to help ensure the people’s safety from any insurgency threats and that peace and security in the city remains intact. (With reports from Harlem Jude Ferolino, PIA SarGen)

About the Author

Catherine Apelacio

Information Officer III

Region 12

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