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PNP: Do not bring backpacks to Marcos’ inauguration

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday advised spectators to avoid bringing backpacks to the inauguration of President-elect Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr. at the National Museum on June 30.

Interviewed on CNN Philippines, PNP director for operations Police Major General Valeriano de Leon said they are expecting a huge crowd  who will watch the oath-taking at the venue.

“For those who will be coming and watch personally the oath-taking, I am reminding them to avoid using backpacks. And if it is not avoided, to bring a plastic bag so we can easily screen the content of their belongings to be brought inside the area,” he said.

According to De Leon, the PNP has not monitored any serious threat so far to the inauguration.

De Leon discouraged those who have health conditions from attending the event and advised them to just watch the oath-taking through television.

For public viewing events, De Leon said police commanders have been directed to coordinate with their organizers in their respective areas to ensure security.

He added that the PNP is also in touch with the management and administrators of LED walls along EDSA that will broadcast the inauguration.

‘Freedom parks’

Meanwhile, at least three freedom parks where protesters without permits can stage a rally during the inauguration have been designated by the PNP.

In a statement, De Leon said these are Plaza Miranda, Plaza Dilao, and Liwasang Bonifacio.

"These are the areas where they could hold programs without a permit from the local government," De Leon said.

With the designation of the freedom parks, De Leon is hopeful that protesters will no longer assemble near the venue of the inauguration at the National Museum in Manila.

Civil disturbance management units will prevent protesters from leaving the designated areas, according to De Leon.

"As stated previously, we respect the right of every individual and group to assemble and express their grievances. However, this right is not absolute,” De Leon said. “There are some limitations that must also be observed, especially if the activities would already infringe on the rights of others in terms of inconveniences and issues relating to peace and order.”

Marcos supporters will be designated at the golf course in front of the National Museum which can hold around 25,000 to 30,000 people, he said. 

Earlier, the PNP said more than 15,000 security personnel composed of the police, soldiers, Coast Guard personnel, and other force multipliers will be deployed to secure the event— Joviland Rita/RSJ, GMA News