PNP 'fully prepared' for Duterte's final SONA–Eleazar

Published July 23, 2021, 1:24 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is “fully prepared” to secure the sixth and final State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Duterte next week even as various groups are expected to launch street protests, the country’s top cop assured the public on Friday, July 23.

Police officers who will be deployed to secure the sixth and final State of the Nation Address of President Duterte on Monday, July 26, 2021 will be equipped with body-worn cameras, according to Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar. (File photo / MANILA BULLETIN)

PNP Chief, Police Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said they have already finished the security preparations and deployment plans for Duterte’s SONA on Monday, July 26 at Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City.

Some 15,000 police officers, mostly from the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), will be deployed to secure the Chief Executive’s public address, he bared.

They will be augmented by 3,300 force multipliers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

“Handang-handa na ang inyong Philippine National Police sa SONA ng ating Pangulong Duterte sa darating na Lunes. Nakalatag na ang mga security plan at nakaantabay na rin ang sufficient number ng ating kapulisan para sa deployment at iba pang contingency measures (Your Philippine National Police is fully prepared for the SONA of President Duterte on Monday. All the security plans are in place and a sufficient number of police forces are on standby for deployment and other contingency measures),” Eleazar noted.

The police chief said that while there has been no monitored security threat relative to the upcoming SONA, the security personnel will be ready to respond to any eventuality.

He said the cops to be deployed will be equipped with body-worn cameras to help them monitor the crowd.

Various groups are set to conduct street protests dubbed in different parts of Metro Manila beginning this weekend until Monday to air their grievances against the current administration. They’ve dubbed their series of protest actions as “wakaSONA”.

Among the participating groups are rights organization KARAPATAN, Akbayan Partylist, urban poor group Kadamay, One Faith. One Nation. One Voice, SIKAD, Movement Against the Anti-Terrorism Act, In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement, and Green Thumb Coalition.

Eleazar urged the groups planning to stage mass actions to conduct their activities virtually or online to avoid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), especially with the confirmed local transmission of the dreaded Delta variant of the disease.

“Sa ilan nating mga kababayan na patuloy pa ring nagpa-plano para sa isang rally, nagpapa-alala ang inyong PNP na lubha pang delikado ang ganitong klaseng pagtitipon lalo na at may kumpirmasyon na ng local transmission ng Delta variant ng COVID-19 (To our countrymen who still plan to conduct a rally, your PNP reminds you that mass gathering is very much dangerous now that the local transmission of Delta variant of COVID-19 is confirmed),” he said.

“Mas ligtas na makinig at manood na lang tayo ng SONA sa ating mga tahanan (It is safer to just listen and watch the SONA in the confines of our homes),” the PNP chief added.