Pinoys remember loved ones on All Saints' Day

11/01/2010 - MANILA, Philippines - Tens of thousands trooped to cemeteries on Monday to remember their departed loved ones.

At the Manila North Cemetery, security was tightened further after a 17-year-old boy was stabbed dead allegedly by members of a rival gang on Sunday night.

Despite a ban on alcohol and sharp objects, police confiscated hundreds of knives and other bladed items, while at least 50 people were arrested for bringing alcohol inside the cemetery.

Authorities are also reminding the public that the election gun ban remains in place.

Over at the Manila South Cemetery, people arrived to offer flowers and prayers for their departed relatives.

Officials have set up senior citizen lanes and help desks to assist visitors. Ambulances and firetrucks are also on standby.

The Makati Action Center Oplan Kaluluwa, meanwhile, advised the public that the Zapote, Reposo, and Pililia streets remain closed to traffic.

Motorists en route to the cemetery may pass through J.P. Rizal St. and Pasong Tamo.

Traffic became heavy in the afternoon at the Manila Memorial Park in Paraรฑaque.

Around 20 bladed items and a deck of cards were confiscated from people visiting the cemetery since Sunday night.

Several people have also visited the graves of democracy icons Ninoy and Cory Aquino.

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCPRO) said the observance of All Saints' Day in Metro Manila has been generally peaceful.

NCPRO spokesperson Senior Superintendent Dionardo Carlos said police are on standby in different areas of the metropolis for the expected arrival of travelers from the provinces.

“Because November 2 [is] not a holiday, we expect most of the people [who] left early last week will be trooping back to Manila late this afternoon,” he explained.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC), meanwhile, said it has helped 372 people as of 10 a.m. Monday.

Red Cross Communication Manager Alexander Rosete said 227 first aid stations in 202 major cemeteries and highways were manned by 1,653 staff and volunteers.

“Various services such as first aid treatment for wounds, blood pressure taking, ambulance transport are offered by PRC. Operations will continue until November 2, 2010,” he added. – (ABS-CBN NEWS)

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