No Independence Day threats, but PNP still on full alert–Eleazar

Published June 11, 2021, 11:42 AM

by Martin Sadongdong

The Philippine National Police (PNP) haven’t encountered any security threats in its monitoring ahead of the commemoration of the 123rd Independence Day on Saturday, June 12.

PNP Chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar (File photo / MANILA BULLETIN)

Despite this, PNP Chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said Friday, June 11, that the police force was placed on full alert status in anticipation of any untoward incident.

Thousands of cops are expected to be deployed on the ground to monitor the peace and order situation during the holiday.

“Sa ngayon po, wala naman tayong namo-monitor na banta sa paggunita ng ating Araw ng Kalayaan. Magkagayon man, ang buong kapulisan po ay patuloy na magbabantay upang maging maayos ang ating sitwasyon sa araw na iyon (Right now, we have not monitored any threat for the commemoration of our Independence Day. However, the entire police force will continue to be on guard to secure that day),” Eleazar said.

Meanwhile, the PNP chief urged groups planning to stage mass actions to just do it online as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) still poses a serious threat to public health and safety.

The commemoration of Independence Day is usually welcomed with street protests from activist groups and other cause-oriented organizations.

However, mass gatherings such as rallies are prohibited under the community quarantine set-up since these are potential super-spreader events.

“The PNP respects everyone’s right to freedom of speech and expression subalit iba po ang ating sitwasyon ngayon (but we are in a different situation now). Maging responsable po tayo at unahin ang kalusugan at kaligtasan ng bawat isa (Let us be responsible and prioritize the health and safety of every one),” Eleazar said.

He said groups can instead hold their activities virtually through Zoom and other social media platforms to avoid mass gathering in public places.

In case there are still groups who will opt to do their activities on the ground, Eleazar reminded police personnel to observe maximum tolerance in dealing with the protesters and give them time to disperse voluntarily in an orderly manner.

“Huwag daanin sa init ng ulo ang pakikipagusap sa mga magra-rally sa Sabado upang maiwasan ang gulo. Kung talagang may mga pasaway na tahasan ang pagsuway sa ating minimum public health safety standards, pasensyahan po tayo pero we have to enforce the law (Do not be hot-headed in dealing with the rallyists on Saturday to avoid trouble. If there are law breakers who disobey the minimum public health safety standards, we have no choice but to enforce the law),” Eleazar told the cops.