By: Genalyn D. Kabiling
The government has not monitored any clear or imminent terror attack to the upcoming regional summit in Manila but has stepped up security measures for any eventuality, a senior police official said yesterday.
National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Oscar Albayalde said the police have strengthened “intelligence fusion” with other agencies and target-hardening measures to ensure the safe and peaceful conduct of the summit.
Around 21 world leaders are expected to arrive in Manila for the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit and related meetings on Nov. 13 to 15.
“On the 31st ASEAN Summit, as of this time, our intelligence monitoring shows no clear or imminent danger on any planned terrorist attack that could disrupt this historic event,” Albayalde said in a Palace news conference.
“But the threat on terrorism remains due to the possible retaliatory attacks from threat groups supportive of the Maute-ISIS and possible isolated atrocities from the CPP-NPA-NDF to embarrass the government,” he added.
At least 33,086 policemen will be deployed to guard the summit venues, hotels, and other routes to be used by the visiting world leaders and other delegates from Nov. 10 to 15, Albayade said. The NCRPO would be augmented by the police units from nearby regions and the military.
He said the police would remain on “full alert status and we will be on our toes until the end of the summit.”
“The Task Group Manila under my command is tasked to secure the venues, the routes, billets of our world leaders and delegates, and maintain public order during the duration of the entire summit,” he said. “We will be securing 16 hotels, five venues, and the various routes where our delegates will be passing through,” he added.
Albayalde also appealed for public cooperation, patience, and understanding as the PNP plans to conduct checkpoints as well as temporary lockdowns of certain areas during the summit.
The police intend to shut down the North Luzon Expressway whenever the visiting world leaders travel between Clark, Pampanga and Manila, he said. The ASEAN leaders and dialogue partners are expected to arrive in Clark airport on Nov. 11 and 12.
“Every time na may magta-travel ng ano, foreign delegate, the NLEX will be temporarily closed at after a few minutes. ‘Pag lampas naman niya, open na kaagad ‘yun,” he said.