MANILA — There is no “specific threat” that could impact the Philippines’ hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting next week, the head of the APEC Security Task Force said Wednesday.
In a press briefing, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ricardo Marquez, also the head of the APEC Security Task Force, said they are confident of their security plans for the November 18 to 19 meeting that will gather some 21 leaders and heads of states.
“There is no specific threat for us hosting, holding the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting next week,” he said.
“We are very, very confident already that we have put up a very good security plan.”
So far, the PNP group has successfully handled 36 APEC events.
Marquez noted that in these events, they brought the “best people” and gathered the “best practices”.
“We applied the major event security framework of APEC. Our people learned all the job. This is the final show, so we are very, very confident that our security preparedness is so excellent,” he added.
Marquez said 70 percent of the security team deployed for the APEC are PNP personnel, but credited the Metro Manila Development Authority for the traffic scheme, the Philippine Coast Guard for maritime security, and the Philippine Air Force for air traffic and security.
Meanwhile, China has expressed concern about the possible rallies or protests directed against its visiting leader, President Xi Jinping, during the AELM because of the territorial dispute between the two countries.
Although there is no specific threat, the Chinese Embassy in Manila is concerned about protests against China’s activities in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) when President Xi arrives in Manila on November 17.
The PNP had a briefing at the Chinese Embassy in Makati City earlier on Wednesday.
Marquez however assured that they have put in place measures and security arrangements for the “whole embassy road in Makati.”
Most ambassadors’ residences are either in Dasmariñas Village or Forbes Park in Makati City.
“As host of the APEC, it is our duty that those concerns are properly addressed. This morning, there was a briefing and concerns were properly addressed,” Marquez said.
“(They want) an assurance that we actually laid down the best security that is humanly possible.”
For his part, newly installed Interior Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento said hosting the APEC is a rare opportunity for the Philippines, and comes only once every two decades.
“Bisita ng bansa ang lahat ng dadalo. Ibig sabihin bisita sila ng lahat ng Pilipino,” he said. PNA