Monday, July 25, 2011

Security measures on Pres. Aquino's SONA on Monday in place --NCRPO


MANILA,Philippines (PNA) -- The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said all security measures are in place to ensure that no untoward incident will mar President Benigno S. Aquino III's second State-of- the-Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.

According to NCRPO Director Alan Purisima, five police security task forces will take care of the security measures as well as traffic coordination with the city government of Quezon City and other government agencies to ensure a peaceful SONA during the reopening of the 15th Congress tomorrow.

“Nakahanda na kami para sa SONA at nakalatag na ang mga security preparations,” Purisima said Sunday, adding that the entire NCRPO is under full alert status.

Under a full alert, all leaves, furloughs and rest and recreation of policemen are cancelled to ensure that they are prepared to respond on a round-the-clock basis to any emergency situation.

Authorities said 7,000 policemen will be fielded during the SONA. They will be augmented by 1,800 more personnel from the police regional offices 1 (Ilocos), 2 (Cagayan Valley), 3 (Central Luzon), 4-A (Calabarzon), 4-B (Mimaropa) and 5 (Bicol).

Personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines-National Capital Region Command (AFP-NCRCom) are also on standby alert ready to assist the police if any need occurs, the NCRPO chief.

Purisima said they have not monitored any specific or imminent threat during the SONA.

At the same time, he said the police will maintain the “maximum tolerance” policy in dealing with protesters as he added that members of the police Civil Disturbance Management (CDM) contingent, usually the frontliners in meeting rallyists, are already warned not to bring any of their service firearms during their deployment.

He also appealed to protest leaders to police their own ranks to prevent saboteurs and agitators from infiltrating the planned mass actions.

Purisima said they are coordinating with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to help ease traffic congestion in the area.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino earlier said the agency will deploy at least 1,100 traffic enforcers as early as 4 a.m. on Monday to guide motorists on the traffic rerouting plan.

He added that tow trucks and emergency vehicles of the MMDA will also be on standby-alert, ready to respond to any distress calls with the agency’s Metro Base monitoring traffic and personnel deployment on a round-the-clock basis.

Ten MMDA tow trucks augmented by two more from the Quezon City Department of Public Safety (DPS) will be deployed near the Sandiganbayan Building, he added.

The MMDA said the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) or the “number-coding” scheme will not be lifted.

“Only one of the 17 local government units in Metro Manila will be directly affected by the SONA so we decided not to suspend the number coding implementation. Kahit po sa Quezon City, ipapatupad pa rin ito at status quo po tayo," said MMDA Assistant General Manager and Spokesperson Tina Velasco.


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