By Dexter Cabalza | Inquirer.net
While its chief debated with critics over the constitutional rights of protesters, the Philippine National Police scrambled to ensure security during the nearing inaugurations of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Vice President-elect Sara Duterte.
First will be the oath-taking of Duterte on June 19 in Davao City where the PNP has deployed at least 3,700 more policemen to secure the event two days from today.
The bigger problem will come in less than two weeks when the Marcos oath-taking is set to be held at the National Museum, or the Old Legislative Building, which last hosted a presidential inauguration in 1946, or 76 years ago.
PNP director for operations Maj. Gen. Valeriano de Leon said in a statement on Thursday that more than 6,000 will be deployed for the inauguration of Marcos, excluding those dispatched by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine Coast Guard.
De Leon said civil disturbance management units would also be deployed near the Old Legislative Building while road closures will also be implemented.
Aside from those who are threatening to disrupt the two inaugurations, De Leon said they were concerned that many of the 31 million who voted for both Marcos and Duterte would also want to attend the historic event.
To solve the security nightmare, De Leon said all of the PNP’s 17 regional directors had begun coordinating with various local governments so they could put up large television screens in different cities across the country.
“The setting up of large LED TVs is actually a big help for the security cluster to make sure that as many of our kababayans will be able to watch this historic inauguration of President-elect Bongbong Marcos,” De Leon said.
“The PNP is now coordinating with the camp of Marcos to seek permission to talk with the administrators of these big LED walls. This is for the benefit of everybody, especially of the supporters because they need not go to the National Museum to witness the event,” De Leon said.
Same strategy in Davao
The same strategy will also be employed in Davao City on June 19 with at least six big LED TVs to be set up to decongest the site of Duterte’s inauguration.
According to De Leon, the National Museum in Manila can accommodate only 1,200 people and the PNP has asked the management of Club Intramuros Golf Course—which is operated by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority—if they could allow people there to witness the event.
He did not mention, however, who would pay for the damage the golf course would likely sustain.
“But as much as possible, we want to limit the number of people in the oath-taking site for security purposes. This is where the use of LED TVs will be strategic and useful as far as the security cluster is concerned,” De Leon said.
“So instead of going to the inauguration site, supporters could watch the entire event live at the comfort of the areas nearest to their homes,” he added. INQ