10/31/2007, 00.00
PHILIPPINES
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Police to patrol Manila cemeteries on All Souls’ Day

by Santosh Digal
Following a bomb attack in the capital on October 19, the authorities are not taking any chance and beefing up security in preparation for All Saints and All Souls celebrations. Some 9,000 police agents will be deployed. Manila’s Cardinal Rosales urges the faithful to celebrate the two holy days according to tradition. But the situation remains tense.

Manila (AsiaNews) – Security has been beefed up in the Philippines on the eve of All Saints and All Souls (November 1 and 2). The Police Department is deploying some 9,000 agents to secure Metro Manila’s different cemeteries, seaports and bus terminals during weekends, this according to Chief Superintendent Roberto Rosales, director of the Manila Police District.

The two religious holidays come before the week-end and are considered high-risk for terrorist attacks in the wake of a bomb blast on October 19 that ripped through a commercial mall in the capital killing 11 and injuring more than 100.

Cemeteries will be patrolled for prompt response in case of emergencies. About 20 first aid units will be able to intervene immediately in case of need. About 40 police officers will be assigned to two of Parañaque City’s biggest cemeteries: the Manila Memorial Park and the Loyola Memorial Park.

Despite the tense atmosphere, the Archbishop of Manila Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales urged the faithful to celebrate November 1 and 2 as they do every year.

As per tradition Filipino families visit cemeteries to offer prayers, flowers, and even food to their departed loved ones. “This is rooted in our culture, faith and values as a country,” the cardinal said.

He also expressed hope that this week’s celebration will be peaceful, focused on praying, and without unnecessary activities like gambling.

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