TO ensure the safety of the 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the Philippine National Police - National Capital Region Police Office (PNP-NCRPO) will deploy 9, 162 cops in Quezon City alone to secure the House of Representative where the event will take place on July 22.
NCRPO director Major Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said 7,358 policemen will come from the NCRPO. They will be augmented by some 1,100 troops from the police regional offices, 300 from Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)’s Joint Task Force-National Capital Region (JTF-NCR) and 404 from other government agencies.
Eleazar added that the NCRPO and Quezon City Police District (QCPD) are set to conduct an inspection of Commonwealth Avenue and IBP Road leading to the House of Representatives in preparation for the SONA.
He said there will be stakeholders meeting and dialogue next week to be followed by ocular inspection on the site where the rallyist have to conduct their program.
The NCRPO director said he had already talked to the Sgt. at Arms of House of Representatives together with inter-agency on security matters inside and outside the event.
He said he already met the leaders of anti-Duterte groups and they agreed to the rules on mass action during the occasion.
Earlier, Eleazar said rallies may be held along Commonwealth Avenue up to St. Peter Parish “for as long as these are held peacefully.”
He added that if protesters are caught violating any of the rules set during their dialogue, the police would not hesitate to use force, especially if they become unruly.
The PNP, Eleazar stressed, will exercise maximum tolerance but at the same time, “we asked the militant groups to do their share and police their ranks to ensure a peaceful and orderly SONA day.”
According to the NCRPO chief since Duterte assumed the presidency in 2016, there were no recorded violent dispersal of protesters staging mass actions.
In line with this, Eleazar said policemen will not be armed with shields and truncheons as an act of goodwill while shipping containers and barbed wires will not be laid out just like they did the past three years along Batasan Road and Commonwealth Avenue.
During the event, Eleazar assured that the NCRPO will also guard all areas in Metro Manila including Mendiola, the United States Embassy and the EDSA Shrine.
He also assured the public that the PNP will continue its anti-criminality campaign that day against lawless elements.
The police official also bared that the NCRPO will secure places of convergence like malls and churches as well as vital installations like terminals, airports, and seaports.
Eleazar said he will directly supervise the security preparations and operations in Metro Manila which includes the deployment of more than 15,000 security troops.
This figure includes contingents from JTF-NCR and other law enforcement, traffic and disaster response agencies.
He said they have yet to detect any threat to security in relation to Duterte’s upcoming SONA. zaida delos reyes