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PNP holds final APEC security dry run today

Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - November 13, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ricardo Marquez said yesterday that full-scale exercises would be conducted today and would be the last security dry run for the coming 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting next week.

Marquez, who is 2015 APEC task force commander, told reporters during his visit at the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) headquarters in Manila that they do not expect any problems since they have been working on the APEC security plan for the past several months.

“With the long preparations and exercises done already, we do not anticipate any problems by next week. But we would audit our plan by subjecting our exercises tomorrow (Saturday) by the Red Team” or the auditors who informs them if there are still improvements needed in their security efforts.

“We do critique sessions every night so there would be immediate adjustment,” he added.

The exercise would include the dry run of the routes and alternate routes that would be used by the delegates and heads of economies and other security measures.

Since they would have to close some roads during the dry run, Marquez said he had asked the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to issue an advisory on the affected roads so “motorists would shy away from the routes that would be used during the full-scale exercise.”

Compared to the preparations they made during Pope Francis’ state and pastoral visit last Jan. 15-19, they would be using more policemen, getting augmentation forces from their PNP offices in Regions 3, 4-A, 5, 6, 7 and 8.

The number of deployed police personnel for APEC would be more than 30 percent of the number they used during the papal visit, he said.

Marquez said that they have already stationed policemen outside the hotels where these leaders and delegates would be billeted, but the full scale of security deployment at the hotels took effect only yesterday.

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) was placed on full alert yesterday in preparation for the APEC meetings.

NCRPO chief Director Joel Pagdilao conducted yesterday an inspection and walk-through of several hotels and was satisfied with the preparations.

“So far so good. We are ready for the big international event,” said Pagdilao.

He emphasized that the security in 19 hotels in Metro Manila was in coordination with the Presidential Security Group (PSG) and the hotel security managers.

The NCRPO partially deployed its forces in the venues, convoy routes and billeting areas and full deployment would begin on Nov. 16.

Marquez also announced yesterday that the PNP will implement a gun ban in Metro Manila for the duration of the APEC summit.

He said all Permits to Carry Firearms Outside of Residence (PTCFOR) in Metro Manila would be suspended during the APEC summit from Nov. 16 to 20.

Marquez said the suspension of the PTCFOR is part of security preparations to ensure safety of the delegates and their families who will attend the said event.

He said only members of the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines and other law enforcement agencies who are performing official duties and in official uniform would be allowed to carry firearms.

The PNP warned violators that they face criminal charges with a penalty of six months to six years in jail, a P10,000 fine as well as suspension or revocation of the privilege to carry firearms as stated on Section 30 of R.A.10591 or the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition. 

At least 1,000 police officers will be deployed by the PNP at the vicinity of Mall of Asia (MOA) in Pasay City for the APEC meetings.

Senior Supt. Joel Doria, Pasay police and commander of Task Force MOA, said security personnel would be posted in all entry and exit points around MOA.

Doria said the Pasay City government would enforce the No Permit, No Rally rule on those who will stage protest actions during the summit. 

Pasay Mayor Antonino Calixto said that various offices of the city were placed on red alert staus to assist in the security of the APEC summit, particularly in the Philippine International Convention Center area.

“We must pull out all the stops to ensure that this event will be a success,” Calixto added.

PNP Highway Patrol Group spokesperson Supt. Grace Tamayo said 842 HPG officers would be deployed to secure the convoy of the leaders and delegates of the 21 member-economies participating in the summit.

Tamayo said 300 HPG officers would augment the Presidential Security Group in securing the 20 APEC leaders, while 282 HPG personnel would join forces with the Police Security Protection Group for the security of ministers and other foreign delegates.

Some 227 HPG officers would be deployed on EDSA and Roxas Boulevard to secure the APEC lanes.

Chief Supt. Ulysses Abellera, Cordillera police director, said that at least 1,600 policemen from his region and Cagayan Valley were sent to Metro manila to augment the security personnel of the APEC summit. – With Mike Frialde, Perseus Echeminada, Rudy Santos, Paolo Romero, Non Alquitran, Victor Martin

Abellera said that the Cordillera police officers have undergone training and orientation on securing foreign delegates.

Patrol vessels

The Maritime Security Task Force (MSTF) yesterday morning deployed 80 patrol vessels to Manila Bay in preparation for the APEC summit.

MSTF head Commodore Joel Garcia, who is also the Philippine Coast Guard-National Capital Region (PCG-NCR) commander, and PNP chief Marquez led the ceremonial send off of vessels from the PCG, PNP-Maritime Group, Philippine Navy (PN) and the PCG Auxiliary (PCGA).

Marquez said the vessels would be covering the whole Manila Bay.

Garcia said the patrol vessels would be stationed 24-hours a day in Manila Bay from Nov. 13 to 22.

The vessels would assist in securing the designated No Sail Zones (NSZ) and Exclusive Zones (EZ) along Manila Bay.

Garcia said that the NSZ extends from Pasig River to Parañaque stretching 30 yards from the shoreline, while the EZ covers Pasig River to Parañaque and measuring 2 nautical miles from the shoreline.

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said there would be no immediate exclusion for APEC foreign delegates and their entourage if the arriving passengers have derogatory records.

BI Commissioner Siegfred Mison, in his memorandum address to Port Operations Division (POD) headed by Floro Balato and to the Management Information System Division (MISD), said less restricted immigration formalities shall be accorded to APEC delegates and accompanying persons.

Among the restrictions to be lifted for APEC participants are: non-imposition of the six-month rule on passport validity, non requirement of outbound or onward ticket, no automatic exclusion for those with “hits” in the BI Information System and non- payment of Waiver of Exclusion Ground fees for minors accompanying delegates.

APEC delegates or accompanying persons with the same name(s) in the Bureau’s derogatory records and database and those without requisite entry visa shall be immediately referred to the duty supervisor for a secondary inspection.

Floro also added that the bureau would dispatch three sets of immigration officers in every shift in three NAIA terminals and several officers on stand-by.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Bureau of Quarantine (BQ) at the airports are also prepared for the APEC.

NAIA customs deputy administrator Belinda Copioso said that all BOC personnel from the chief down to the examiners are ready for the arrival of the delegates. – Mike Frialde, Perseus Echeminada, Rudy Santos, Paolo Romero, Non Alquitran, Victor Martin

ACIRC APEC DELEGATES MANILA MANILA BAY MARQUEZ METRO MANILA NBSP NON ALQUITRAN PNP SECURITY
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