Cops ease fears of IS attacks on Asean gab
THERE is no imminent danger of any terrorist attack that could disrupt the 31st Asean Summit in November or the All Saints’ Day activities, the National Capital Region Police Office said Thursday, even as it suspended all permits to carry firearms from Nov. 1 to 15.
In a Palace news briefing, NCRPO Director Oscar Albayalde said government forces remain on guard against terrorist threats, given the possibility of retaliatory attacks by groups supporting the Islamic State for the defeat of the Maute group in Marawi City.
A total of 5,355 police officers from NCRPO will be deployed to secure the 82 cemeteries, 21 columbaria, 182 churches, 75 bus terminals, two seaports and four airports in Metro Manila, augmented by 3,704 barangay tanods, 9,163 security guards, and 1,067 civilian volunteers, Albayalde said.
Advanced command posts will be posted outside the Manila North Cemetery and police assistance desks will also be established in all cemeteries, ports, major bus terminals, churches and other places of convergence to assist the public, he added.
Albayalde said that quick reaction teams will be on standby should any situation arise.
According to the NCRPO chief, Task Group Manila under his supervision is tasked to secure the venues, the routes, billets of the world leaders and delegates, and maintain public order during the Asean Summit.
“We will be securing 16 hotels, five venues and the various routes where our delegates will be passing through,” he said.
A total of 33,086 police personnel will be deployed during the Asean Summit to secure until the last delegate leaves the country.
Some members of the police from Regions I to V, Cordillera, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines will also augment the need for warm bodies for security purposes, Albayalde said.
“We assure the public, both locally and internationally, that Metro Manila is safe and secure and is ready to receive our distinguished 22 foreign leaders and more or less 3,000 delegates who will be gracing our country for the 31st Asean Summit,” he added.
Albayalde said the suspension of permits to carry firearms covers the whole of Metro Manila, as well as Central Luzon.
These include the provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales.
At least 21 world leaders including United States President Donald Trump are expected to fly into the country to attend the event.
Meanwhile, the North Luzon Expressway lane stretching from Clark, Pampanga to Metro Manila will also be on temporary lockdown as foreign leaders are expected to use this upon arrival in Clark International Airport.
“They will travel to NLEX, from Clark to Manila so there will be a temporary lockdown when they travel,” said Albayalde. “The NLEX will be temporarily closed and after a few minutes when they get past NLEX, it will be opened right away.”