PNP deploys 13K cops for ASEAN meetings


MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) is deploying 13,000 police officers for the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Related Meetings at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) from August 2 to 8, the chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said Tuesday.

NCRPO chief Director Oscar Albayalde said the police contingent will secure about 1,700 foreign ministers, diplomats and other delegates from 27 countries who are expected to arrive in Manila this week.

“We have actually started preparations on security matters since last year for this big event. And I think with all the preparations that we’ve made, the country is very much ready to host this 50th Foreign Ministers’ Meeting,” he said at a Palace briefing.

According to the Metro Manila police chief, skeletal deployment in some hotels had already been done to secure some 24 foreign delegates who have already arrived and route securities are already in place.

Besides securing the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Complex where the venues of the meetings will be held, the police is also tasked to secure the routes of the VIPs who will be billeted in 21 hotels in Metro Manila, particularly in parts of Parañaque, Pasay and Makati.

In the meantime, Albayalde said that the PNP had not monitored any threats related to the ASEAN meetings.

However, he said that police are monitoring some critical areas or “enclaves” as well as some groups to prevent any untoward disturbance from happening while the ASEAN meetings are taking place.

Last April 28, at least 14 people were injured when a homemade pipe bomb exploded in Quiapo, Mainla while the ASEAN Summit was ongoing.

The NCRPO and Malacañang said the explosion was triggered by a gang war in the area and was not related to the ASEAN Summit.

Albayalde said that some of the groups they are presently monitoring include a couple of former Alex Boncayao Brigade (ABB) members who have converted to Islam.

He added that the NCRPO has not monitored any threats coming from the Maute group.

“With regards to the specific group na Maute, wala tayong nakukuha especially those coming from Mindanao, particularly in Marawi for that matter. Ang tinitingnan lang naman natin ngayon dito is ‘yung mga present dito sa NCR,” the police officer said.

“But as of this time, wala naman tayong namo-monitor na movement nila that would probably disrupt this ASEAN meeting,” Albayalde added. Cielito Reganit/