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Security tight in Metro Manila cemeteries

/ 10:58 PM October 31, 2011

Thousands of Filipinos trooped to public and private cemeteries Monday morning to visit the tombs of their departed loved ones, according to reports on Radyo Inquirer.

Security was tight, with police, military reservists, traffic enforcers and medical teams at the frontlines, backed up by volunteer nongovernment organizations and trimedia groups.

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At the Manila North Cemetery, police confiscated garden tools, belt buckles, knives and eating utensils from several people, with some protesting that they needed the tools to clean the graves of their dead. The police, however, were unmoved and allowed them to bring in only brooms and rags.

Later on, they arrested a man who yielded two sachets containing what was believed to be shabu, or methamphetamine hydrochloride, Radyo Inquirer said.

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Early in the morning, the police towed vehicles parked beside the main entrance of the cemetery.

At 8 a.m., the police estimated the crowd at the cemetery at 15,000. To keep the entrance open, they towed vehicles parked beside the main entrance.

Medical teams were also kept busy by elderly people who complained of dizziness and fatigue due to the heat. A few were taken to makeshift clinics where they were diagnosed to be suffering from hypertension.

A woman, on the other hand, had to be rushed to the hospital after nurses failed to stop her nosebleed.

In Makati City’s Manila South Cemetery, police confiscated 20 bottles of paint thinner and assorted garden tools and bladed weapons from cemetery goers.

A ban was also imposed on pets.

At Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City, members of the Presidential Security Group cordoned off the tombs of former President Corazon  Aquino and her husband, former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino III, in anticipation of the arrival of their son, President Aquino, and daughters Ballsy, Pinky, Viel and Kris.

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On the other hand, fast-food chains put up stalls at the privately owned Manila Memorial Park while enterprising businessmen distributed flyers and application forms for cable and Internet connections. One car even had a large “Car for Sale” poster displayed on the windshield.

At Holy Cross in Novaliches, Quezon City, Lauro Vizconde arrived early to visit the graves of his wife, Estrellita, and daughters Carmela and Jennifer.—Reports from Erwin Aguilon, Chona Yu, Ruel Perez, Alvin Barcelona, Isa Avendano, Ricky Brozas & Jong Manlapaz

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TAGS: All Saints’ Day, cemeteries, Metro Manila, Philippines – Metro, Safety of citizens, Security
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