The first day of Simbang Gabi on Sunday was peaceful as the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) implemented its anti-crime drive for the Christmas holiday.
“There was no untoward incident related to the first day of Simbang Gabi (Dec. 16) of Ligtas Paskuhan 2018,” NCRPO Director Guillermo Eleazar, told the Philippine News Agency.
The PNP chief instructed all police regional directors to redirect police patrol operations to maximize police visibility around churches in line with the drive designed to minimize crimes.
Field commanders were ordered to make inspection rounds in churches around the metropolis and suburbs on Sunday to assess the implementation of beat patrol and mobile patrol operations in areas where parishioners gather to attend the traditional nine-day dawn masses.
Albayalde specifically instructed field unit commanders to deploy mobile patrol units with blinkers turned on to visibly establish police presence but not necessarily create undue alarm to the public.
Local police units were also reminded to be on the lookout for criminal elements engaged in common street crimes such as mugging, swindling, gang wars, robbery and theft, and burglary of unattended residences.
Eleazar ordered the five police district directors under NCRPO to tighten security around churches and residential areas to protect churchgoers and thwart burglars. The five districts are the Manila Police District, Quezon City Police District, Northern Police District, Southern Police District and Eastern Police District.
“The Team NCRPO celebrates this Christmas by intensifying police visibility to ensure there will be peace, order, safety and joy in our midst, every moment of the day,” Eleazar said.
“We are fielding about 7,823 NCRPO police officers with the full support of 7,955 force multipliers to oversee the peace and order situation of our metropolis,” Eleazar said.
“They will be posted strategically regionwide at places of convergence and vital installations. We will post ‘police assistance hubs’ in all major public markets, malls, churches, airports, LRT and MRT terminals, seaports, and transport terminals,” he added.