The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has readied 14 mobile detention in anticipation of any arrest from “unruly” protesters in the fifth State-of-the-Nation Address of President Duterte at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.
But NCRPO director Police Major Gen. Debold Sinas said arresting protesters would be their last resort, saying they will continue to negotiate with the rallyists for the peaceful conduct of their demonstrations.
“We will first deploy blocking forces in areas where the protest action is prohibited so that if there would be violators, they would be immediately accosted and asked to leave in a polite way. But if they insist and continue to violate that would result in commotion, then that is the time that we will make arrests,” said Sinas.
Those who would be arrested would be locked in mobile detentions that were lent by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology to the NCRPO.
Hundreds of protesters are expected to join the demonstrations to protest the alleged government’s sloppy handling of the COVID-19 pandemic that led to high infection rate not only in Metro Manila but also in the provinces when the government’s program of sending stranded commuters to their hometowns began.
Based on the NCRPO plan, Commonwealth Ave. in Quezon City is off-limits from protesters. Instead, those who wish to hold protest actions were advised to go to the University of the Philippines Diliman campus, also in Quezon City
More or less 7,500 policemen, soldiers, and traffic enforcers would be deployed to secure the SONA.
Sinas said that they remain on alert against any possible threat. Part of the security measures, he said, is the deployment of 30 bomb-sniffing dogs.
He said basic protective gears would be distributed to anti-riot cops to protect them from coronavirus infection.