AFP ready to provide extra security for Monday’s SONA
The Armed Forces of the Philippines is ready to assist the Philippine National Police in its effort to provide security during President Benigno Aquino III's State of the Nation Address on Monday.
As of Sunday noon, at least seven Armed Forces Civil Disturbance Management companies are on standby and on alert in Camp Aguinaldo. They are ready to deploy if so requested by the PNP, said AFP spokesman Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos.
“They are coming from the Army, Air Force, Navy and GHQ (general headquarters), numbering around 500,” said Burgos.
The PNP is the primary security agency tasked to ensure the security of the President’s address. The military effort is being supervised by the Standing Joint Task Force National Capital Region which recently replaced the now-deactivated NCR Command.
The Armed Force said it is anticipating a peaceful delivery of the yearly State of the Nation Address at the Batasan complex in Quezon City.
“So far, we have not received any threat report. However, we are continuing with our monitoring and surveillance in coordination with the Philippine National Police and other security agencies,” said Burgos.
Meanwhile, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council executive director and concurrent Office of Civil Defense administrator Benito Ramos said the agency is also on alert for any calamity that may arise during the SONA.
“This is a high-density population [gathering], there might be rallies and violence may arise, disaster waiting to happen. Whether we like it or not, we are going to be involved. We are going to be on red alert until the President’s speech is over,” said Ramos.
Ramos added that the PNP is under “strict instruction” not to carry firearms. He said they should only carry batons to address possible unruly demonstrators. — DVM, GMA News
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