There is no direct threat monitored in connection with the staging of the Miss Universe in country this month, a Philippine National Police official said Tuesday.
"As far as direct threat, as of now, we don’t have any direct threats concerning the staging of [the] Miss Universe pageant. The monitoring is continuous," Senior Supt. Emmanuel Licup, staff for operations of the Security Task Force for Miss Universe 2016, said at a press briefing.
Licup said an intelligence center will be put up “so that intelligence exchange will happen in that center.”
He admitted since the Miss Universe pageant is an international event, it will be a good platform for terrorist groups to stage an attack “but the PNP will make sure that none of these things will happen during the staging of this pageant.”
“All eyes will be on the Philippines, rightfully we will take this opportunity to showcase the country as a tourist destination. Not only that, the peace and order situation of the country will be highlighted,” he said.
He said they will be deploying 1,300 personnel in Metro Manila alone to provide security. He said the deployment of personnel in the provinces where ancillary events will be held will depend on the regional director.
“It depends on their appreciation on how much in terms of human resource and equipment will be employed,” he said.
At the same time, Licup said the 1,300 will include onboard security, billeting for the four hotels where the more or less 247 candidates, board of jurors, entertainers, organizers, and their families will be staying.
“Of the 1,300, we have the PSPG (Police Security and Protection Group) for most of the provision of the close-in security. The HPG (Highway Patrol Group) because the convoy runs from the airport to the hotels, hotels to ancillary events, hotels to other places of engagements like Intramuros, Manila Hotel, Solaire, among others. Of course we need to move these contestants and organizers, along with their chaperones and make up artists,” he said.
He said the Aviation Security Group is also involved in coordination with the airport authorities, together with the intelligence group and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.
The inter-agency security committee will be headed by the DILG which has direct supervision over the PNP.
He said security will be in placed days before the event happens.
“As of now, we have already given instructions to put in place our security details,” he said.
Licup said one security detail will be provided per four contestants. He said most of those that will be deployed as close-in security are female police personnel.
“I don’t have the exact number as to the female security detail but most of those that will be assigned are female agents,” he said.
No selfies with candidates
He said the police personnel have been told not to have selfies with the candidates.
“These are trained protective agents, they know how to do about in terms of personal security,” he said.
He said according to the PSPG, the refresher course for those assigned to secure the Miss Universe candidate is ongoing.
“It is continuous especially for a major event like this, the refresher court is part and parcel of the arrangements,” he said.
He said the candidates will not be allowed to have appointments on their own.
“We have been briefed by the organizers that the Miss Universe organization will be strict in terms of the movement of these candidates. So in that case security arrangements will be better off as far as [the] PNP is concerned,” he said.
“We have been briefed that in no case na meron silang lakad na on their own. Wala silang time to do their own thing like shopping and the personal stuff,” he added.
He said there will only be one night when the candidates will be allowed to go on their own and the PNP is arranging to detail one to two security per candidate.
He added the candidate from New Zealand will be going to Pangasinan to visit the relatives of her mother.
Licup said no roads will be closed during the staging of the Miss Universe pageant.
“It is the instruction of the President (Rodrigo Duterte) that no closure will be done to inconvenience the riding public. The President has given specific instructions that no closure of roads or thoroughfares will be done,” he said.
He added there is also no plan to jam the signal during the event.
“As of now hindi pa napag-usapan. Hindi naman ganun karaming Miss Universe 'devotees',” he said when asked on the possibility of utilizing signal jammers. — RSJ, GMA News