Bicol police to ensure peaceful fiesta

By Connie Calipay


LEGAZPI CITY --- The Police Regional Office in Bicol (PRO5) has started deploying 2,234 uniformed personnel to ensure an orderly and peaceful celebration of the Peñafrancia Festivities in Naga City this month.


Maj. Malu Calubaquib, PRO5 spokesperson, said the personnel will render police duties in Naga from Sept. 8-19 and implement various security measures to ensure the safety of pilgrims who will participate in the religious feast.


“Security preparations of the unit include the conduct of enhanced police presence which covers police and mobile visibility patrol, checkpoints, visitations, and inspections of vital installations. An area command post (APC) was established at the Naga City Police Office serving as a hub to monitor and collate timely situations in the area and the ongoing response efforts in case of incidents,” Calubaquib said in an interview.


PRO5 also prepared contingency plans as a proactive approach to address possible incidents that are likely to disrupt and hamper overall peace and security.


“Motorist assistance centers were also set up manned by the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and force multipliers to easily respond to the occurrences during the activity,” Calubaquib said.


She also said gun bans have been implemented in Naga City from Sept. 5-25 to prevent crime incidents.


At least 832 personnel of the deployed forces are from the Naga City Police Office and 1,402 come from the different PRO5 units.


Brig. Gen. Rudolph Dimas, PRO5 regional director, said he has directed all units to intensify anti-criminality operations to preclude and deter criminal groups from taking advantage of the gathering.


“Our preparations are still ongoing. We are looking keenly at every detail to assure our devotees that their right to practice their religious beliefs is safeguarded. We also urge the public for their participation and cooperation in making this event a success,” Dimas said in a statement.


Peñafrancia Festival, which is considered the biggest religious event in Bicol, is celebrated to honor the feast day of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, patroness of the region. The main highlight of the event is the fluvial procession along Naga River. (PNA)