5,500 cops to be deployed for Chinese president’s PH visit

Published November 17, 2018, 5:48 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Aaron Recuenco

At least 5,500 policemen will be deployed in Metro Manila for the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping next week.

Newly assigned National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Guillermo Eleazar (FEDERICO CRUZ / MANILA BULLETIN)
National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Guillermo Eleazar

Director Guillermo Eleazar, head of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), said among those who would be deployed are anti-riot cops in anticipation of possible protest actions in connection with the territorial dispute issue in the West Philippine Sea.

“We are ready and we are continuously coordinating with various government agencies that could help us,” said Eleazar.

Most of the cops who would be deployed are from Metro Manila but at least 200 personnel from the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) regional police were requested as augmentation.

Those who would come from the Calabarzon according to Eleazar, are members of the Civil Disturbance and Management Unit.

“There are possibilities of lightning rallies based on our monitoring and we expect that every time there are visits from dignitaries from China and even the United States,” said Eleazar.

“But we have no problem with that because we always encounter lightning rallies almost every day. We are ready and we have CDM contingents,” he added.

The lightning rallies expected are in connection with the Chinese reclamation in the disputed islands and rock formation at the West Philippine Sea, or the South China Sea.

Recently, there were reports that China has put up weather stations in some of the rock formations it reclaimed. There were also reports of military installations in the area.

Aside from coordination with government security agencies, Eleazar said they are in constant coordination with the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines in connection with the security preparations.

But he was quick to clarify that the PNP is not being dictated upon on the security arrangement for the visiting Chinese president who is expected to have several meetings with President Duterte and other local officials.

He explained that coordination with the security agencies of any visiting foreign top officials is part of the protocol.

Eleazar said they are banking on the success of various international events that were held in the Philippines in terms of ensuring the safety and success of the visit of the Chinese president.

Chinese President Xi’s visit from November 20 to 21 is his first in the Philippines on the invitation of President Duterte amid the perceived pivot of the Philippines to China from the United States.

Recently, Duterte was quoted saying that he no longer wants war games with other foreign military in the West Philippine Sea since China has already taken control of the area.

The two top officials are expected to sign five agreements, according to Malacañang.