MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police has ramped up security preparations around the National Museum ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., it said Friday.
Speaking at the Laging Handa briefing Friday morning, Police Col. Jean Fajardo, PNP spokesperson said that the national police has not detected any threats thus far in its intelligence monitoring and security preparations.
"We have yet to receive any serious threat here in Manila and Davao where the inauguration will be held. This does not mean we will be complacent since we are still conducting our intelligence monitoring," she said in Filipino.
Fajardo added that local police in Davao City has also begun its own preparations, including the formation of security task groups, for the inauguration of Davao City mayor and Vice President-elect Sara Duterte-Carpio on June 19.
She asserted anew that the PNP would practice maximum tolerance when dealing with protesters. It said the same of rallyists during the proclamation of Marcos and Duterte but defended the police contingent's usage of water cannons, saying they "went too far."
"The law states that those who wanted to protest must get a permit. We have designated freedom parks though where they could hold their protests," she also said, though the protest at the Liwasang Diokno on the Commission on Human Rights grounds was also held at a freedom park when the protest was forcibly disbanded.
The PNP spokesperson added that the public might see PNP civil disturbance management contingents in areas where rallyists might hold demonstrations.
"We urge them to follow security protocols and let the inauguration proceed on June 30 and on June 19 in Davao…This is to make sure that the proclamation will not be disrupted in the National Museum," Fajardo said in Filipino.
Section 4 of the PNP Revised Operational Procedures says that "public assemblies held in freedom parks or on private property do not need a permit for the activity."
"The PNP units tasked to maintain peace and order shall not interfere with the holding of public assembly. To ensure public safety, a CDM contingent under the command of a PCO shall be detailed and stationed at least 100 meters away from the place where the public assembly is being held."
"The PNP shall not interfere with the holding of a public assembly…before conducting any dispersal operation, the PNP shall notify the concerned organizers and leaders of the public assembly," the PNP's guidelines also read.
Fajardo, however, pointed out that the number of police that would be deployed in Manila has not yet been finalized.
"The PNP is tasked to assist in the security of the venue and even to the areas where he will pass through. Just like the concerned agencies and other law enforcement units, the PNP is in full swing as far as preparation is concerned," Police Brig. Gen. Roderick Alba, chief of the PNP public information office also said in a statement sent to reporters.
"The public can expect that there is proper coordination being done with the rest of the organizers so we can ensure the safety and security of the president and every participant." — Franco Luna