Still and all, ’twas peaceful

THE PNP yesterday said the overall situation during Holy Week was “generally peaceful” despite a number of untoward incidents and recorded crimes.

PNP chief Alan Purisima said he allowed regional police directors to downgrade their alert levels depending on the prevailing situation in their areas.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said at least 12 died, 531 were injured and two are missing.

Eduardo Batac, acting NDRRMC executive director and Office of Civil Defense administrator, said of the 12 fatalities, seven drowned.

They were three-year-old Blizz Eilengie Tesorio (Maundy Thursday), Roland Deo, 33, of Bolinao, Pangasinan (Black Saturday), Avelino Daliri, 29, of Ilagan, Isabela (Good Friday), Venancio Dumon, of Echague, Isabela (Good Friday), Felimon Aclan, 25 of Batangas City (Good Friday), Junior Redondo and Richard Matanguihan, of Tanauan City (Maundy Thursday).

Cristy Dion, 39, of San Fabian, Pangasinan and Apple Joy Carion, 13, of Magsaysay, Occidental Mindoro, remain missing as they were swept by strong currents last Black Saturday.

Romeo Parahinog, 18, of Angono, Rizal and Simon Abitong Jr, of Antipolo City, were killed in vehicular accidents on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday; Lowie Bulso, of Lipa City died in a fire on Good Friday; Sofronie Jamis Bombeo, 50, was killed in a shooting rampage in Libertad, Misamis Oriental on Maundy Thursday; and a militiaman was killed by communist rebels in Butuan City on Good Friday.

Director Alex Paul Monteagudo, PNP director for operations, said Oplan SumVac (Operational Plan Summer Vacation) will still be in effect today as thousands are expected to return from the provinces.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said it would focus its traffic management efforts on key chokepoints namely Balintawak and Mindanao Avenue in the north and Magallanes in the south.

MMDA Traffic Engineering Center director Noemi Recio said they have traffic constables in place as part of the overall “Oplan Metro Alalay Semana Santa” or Oplan MASS which started last March 22.

Under Oplan MASS, the agency has deployed 1, 847 traffic enforcers along with tow trucks, emergency and communication vehicles, including the three “Agila” vans fitted with communications and monitoring equipment, and ambulances.

The 60-kilometer per hour (kph) speed limit along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City and the Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard in Paranaque will be in effect.

Operators of the South Luzon and North Luzon Expressways will be enforcing a speed limit of 100 kph for cars, jeeps and pick-ups not more than seven feet high and 80 kph for buses and trucks. The minimum speed remains at 60 kph.

MMDA said the “number-coding” will remain suspended until tomorrow except for Makati City which will enforce the scheme starting today.

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