ILOILO CITY – Over 18,000 police personnel and force multipliers have been deployed all over Western Visayas to provide maximum security during the Christmas season.
The public information office (PIO) of the Police Regional Office Western Visayas (RPIO) said 5, 407 police personnel in various police units and 12, 651 force multipliers were deployed starting Wednesday until January 3 next year.
“We deployed enough number of PNP personnel to strengthen police visibility especially in highly urbanized areas in the region,” Brig. Gen. Rolando Miranda, PRO 6 director, said in a press statement.
They are tasked to secure churches, transport terminals, seaports, malls, and other places of convergence from the threat of terrorism, criminal groups, and other individuals who may take advantage of the situation, and at the same time, they will strictly impose maximum health protocols to contain the spread of Covid-19.
In an interview, Col. Gilbert Gorero, director of the Iloilo Police Provincial Office (IPPO), said uniformed personnel have been deployed in churches at the start of the Misa de Gallo, as well as places of convergence in municipalities like malls, busy streets, terminal, and public market.
Police assistance desks are also put up in places of convergence.
“The intention is not only for the security of churchgoers but the stricter implementation of health protocols and policy to prevent the spread of the pandemic,” he said.
Orders were issued to unit commanders for the consistent implementation of protocols this holiday season like social gatherings and Christmas parties, he added.
“We would like to encourage every one of their cooperation while celebrating Christmas amid the pandemic,” he said.
He said the first day of the Simbang Gabi was manageable as everyone observed health protocols. (PNA)