6,000 policemen will be deployed during Duterte's second SONA on July 24 at Batasan Complex

A very tight security will be implemented at the Batasan Complex on July 24. There will be at least 6,000 policemen to be deployed for President Rodrigo Duterte's second state of the nation address (SONA).

Batasan complex will be secured by at least 6,000 police officers says National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Oscar Albayalde. They will be stationed around the complex as a part of the security preparations.



"We have enough (Civil Disturbance Management) personnel to cover this event," Albayalde said in an interview.

Manila Police District will be in-charged of the security measures around the crowded areas of the metro to make sure no threat will ever happen during the President's address. Albayalde said it is better to be safe than sorry.

"Pero kung mayroon man, talagang ganoon. I think kailangan talagang paghandaan 'yan, although makita naman natin wala pa tayong equipment for those kinds of crises, 'yung mga ganoong insidente," he said.

[Translation: But if there are (threats), it's expected. We have to prepare for these, although we can see we still have no proper equipment to address those kinds of crises and incidents.]

According to the Metro Manila police, they are more than prepared to secure VIPs that will be attending the SONA at the House of the Representatives on the 24th.

Activists will be permitted to go near the Batasan Pambansa Complex's gates, while, rallyists will only be allowed on few lanes of Commonwealth Avenue leading to the Complex to avoid traffic disturbance during the SONA.

Aside from the Manila's police officers, the House of Representatives and Armed Forces of the Philippines will also deploy their own security personnel to aide and support the police.

Albayalde also said they are expecting more severe cries and grievances from leftist groups regarding the Martial Law in Mindanao, and peace talks between the government and communists groups.

"Very peaceful 'yung last year kasi yung mga militante natin it's all for support of the President," Albayalde said. "Ngayon kasi may kaunting, medyo may kaunting — most probably may issue kasi sila so there would be some sort of small resistance siguro."

[Translation: Last year's demonstrations were peaceful because our militants expressed all their support for the President. But now, the militants have an issue so maybe there would be some sort of small resistance.]




Meanwhile, on Thursday July 7, President Duterte stated during a media interview in Davao City after his unannounced visit at the 2nd mechanized Infantry Brigade in Iligan City, he said martial law will not be lifted in Mindanao even before his SONA.

Duterte reiterated that the only reason for him to lift martial law is when the Armed Forces of the Philippines tells him its safe or it should be extended. Everything will depend on them since Duterte does not have any "independent study" on the ground situation in Marawi City.

"I consulted them and said it was critical. Ang magsabi sa akin na hindi na critical, ang Armed Forces pati ang pulis (Only the Armed Forces and the police can tell me if it is no longer critical),"he said.

"So, I have just to rely on the word of the Armed Forces and the police because they are the one keeping this Republic healthy and alive," he added.

He also stated that it is not his job to but of the AFP's, plus, he cannot do it physically. "Pag sinabi nila wala nang delikado and everything is okay, then that is the time that we will lift the martial law," he added.




As early as next week, President Duterte will receive recommendations from the military says AFP Spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr.

"Regarding the recommendation whether to extend or stop the implementation of martial law, the assessment is not yet done. The recommendation for the commander in chief needs basis," he said in Filipino.

"Its assessment or study is still ongoing. We can submit this next week or before the 60-day limit lapses," he added.


Source: INQ, GMA



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