Suspected thief arrested in Parañaque cemetery, but All Saints’ Day ‘peaceful’By Jamie Elona
MANILA, Philippines—A man was arrested inside the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City Thursday after he allegedly stole a woman’s bag containing a digital camera worth P35,000, police said.
The Philippine National Police, however, considered the incident as isolated, as it said that the observance of All Saints’ Day was generally peaceful.
Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr., Philippine National Police spokesman, said Reynaldo Flora, 29, was nabbed after Noemi San Jose identified him as the person who got her bag inside the sprawling cemetery around 6 a.m.
Cerbo said San Jose was visiting the tomb of her departed loved one when she noticed Flora already walking away with her shoulder bag containing her Canon EOS Kiss x50 camera, along with its charger.
San Jose shouted for help, prompting authorities to chase Flora, Cerbo said, adding that the bag and all the items in it were recovered.
Radio reports, meanwhile, said that at least 40 people were arrested for various violations inside the Manila North Cemetery, including drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana.
Philippine National Police chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome, however, maintained that this year’s observance of All Saints’ Day was “generally peaceful” based on field reports from regional directors, which said that no “significant untoward incident” had been recorded the entire day.
“I am satisfied with the overall outcome of our security operations for Undas 2012 and I extend the congratulations of President Benigno S Aquino III and Secretary Mar Roxas to all 148,000 officers and men of the PNP for another job well done,” Bartolome said.
Bartolome himself made the rounds of public transport terminals and cemeteries on Wednesday and Thursday, visiting in particular the Manila North Cemetery, Manila South Cemetery, Loyola Memorial Park Marikina, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminals 2 and 3, and bus terminals in Cubao (in Quezon City) and Pasay City.
Meanwhile, the director of the National Capital Region Police Office, Chief Superintendent Leornardo Espina, said that no serious untoward incidents were reported even as the crowds swelled to an estimated 1.1 million at the Manila North Cemetery at midday Thursday; 50,000 at the Manila South Cemetery; 90,000 at the Manila Memorial Park; 16,000 at Loyola Marikina; and 22,00 at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.