PPCPO prepares for this year's Holy Week observance. (Photo Courtesy of PPCPO)
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The Puerto Princesa City Police Office (PPCPO) will deploy all its personnel during the weeklong Lenten break starting Maunday Thursday next week.

Police Colonel Marion Balonglong, city police director, told Palawan News on Thursday they will deploy their personnel in shifts starting April 18 until April 21 on Easter Sunday.

“May ginawa po kaming security plan for the Semana Santa (Holy Week). Magde-deploy tayo ng 300 personnel sa umaga tapos 200 po sa gabi. Para po ‘yong mga turista natin at mga kababayan nating mga taga-Puerto Princesa ay maging safe sa pag-celebrate ng Seman Santa,” Balonglong said.

He said police personnel will be deployed in churches, terminals, at the airport and seaport, malls, and the city’s pilgrimage site Mount Calvary.

While we have no security threat monitored so far, the PPCPO will be on full alert and all leaves have been canceled already, he added.

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The full alert he said started at the beginning of the local campaign period last week and will remain during the observance of the Holy Week until the end of the May 13 elections.

“So far wala tayong ganun [na nareceive na threat]. Pero hindi natin ina-underestimate ‘yong mga ganoong possibility kaya tayo ay nagpe-prepare para po dito [sa Holy Week observance] at saka at the same time dito sa on-going campaign para sa election,” Balonglong also said.

He said they are also coordinating with the church leaders for the setting up of police assistance desks and deployment of security personnel.

Balonglong also said they are conducting simulation exercises with the Special Weapons and Tactics Group (SWAT) and Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Canine Group (EOD-K9) in “churches, tourist destinations, and malls.”

“Noong mga three weeks ago nagsimula po ‘yon. Parang may mga scenarios na isinasagawa natin in coordination with the security ng mall o minsan in between mga police stations natin at saka ‘yong SWAT and EOD-K9 natin,” Balonglong pointed out.

The drills, he said, are part of the security preparations of the PPCPO for both the Lenten season and election period.

Balonglong also appealed to the devotees Thursday and reminded them to bring only the necessities to churches and other pilgrimage sites in Puerto Princesa where they will celebrate Holy Week.

“Sa atin pong mga devotees sana iwasan nating magdala ng mga extra-baggages or mag-iwan ng mga mapaghi-hinalaang mga bagay  na [magmu-mukhang] may lamang bomba para hindi matakot ‘yong mga kapwa nating nagse-celebrate ng Semana Santa. Sana maging mapayapa ang pag-celebrate ng Semana Santa dito sa atin sa Puerto Princesa at sa buong Pilipinas,”  Balonglong said.

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