Around 12,000 soldiers and police gathered at the Quirino Grandstand Sunday for a ceremonial send-off.
They are part of the more than 60,000 personnel who will be deployed for the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) Summit on November 10 to 14.
Members of the Regional Public Safety Battalion showed how they will deal with protesters by holding a mock rally.
The police said they will exercise maximum tolerance at rallies. Should the protesters become unruly, the police will be using calibrated force to disperse them.
Philippine National Police Chief Ronald Dela Rosa said while they have not monitored any real and direct threat related to the ASEAN Summit, the police will strictly implement security measures.
“As of now, wala pa talaga tayong na-monitor na real and direct threat dito sa NCR. Wala tayong na-monitor na ASEAN threat na pwedeng umusbong pero di tayo mag-kumpyansa,” Dela Rosa said on Sunday.
[Translation: As of now, we have not monitored real and direct threats here at NCR. We have not monitored an ASEAN threat that may arise, but we cannot be complacent.]
He is also urging the public to report any suspicious activity, to prevent a repeat of an incident similar to the Resorts World Manila attack in June.
“We are imploring the aid of the divine public to please help us monitor lahat ng tao sa paligid kasi hindi talaga ma-monitor ng security forces ‘yung sinasabi ko, ‘yung posibleng lone wolf attacker,” he added.
[Translation: We are imploring the aid of the divine public to please help us monitor everyone in the area because our security forces will have limitations in monitoring possible lone wolf attackers.]
President Rodrigo Duterte previously warned of terror plots caused by individuals, or “lone wolf” attackers.
The ASEAN events will be held in Metro Manila and Clark Field in Pampanga.
The government declared special nonworking days in Metro Manila, Bulacan, and Pampanga on November 13 to 15 (Monday to Wednesday) to give way to the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings.
But starting November 8 (Wednesday), major roads will have partial and total lockdowns to accommodate ASEAN convoys.
Acting Interior Chief Catalino Cuy warned motorists who ply EDSA that there will be a stop-and-go scheme for ASEAN convoys, and advised drivers to avoid following the convoys.
“Malay natin kung sino ‘yung mga sumisingit. Hindi natin kilala. Ang ano dito is, sisingit ka, babarahin ka. Baka magkaroon tayo ng aksidente,” Cuy said.
[Translation: We don’t know who’s following the convoy. If you join the convoy, you might be blocked. And we might have accidents.]
Cuy added cellular signals will not be jammed throughout the summit. He said he had advised security teams of foreign delegates to not bring jamming equipment as the government is confident of its security preparations.
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