PNoy convenes Cabinet security cluster after Paris attacks
(Philstar.com) - November 15, 2015 - 5:18am

MANILA, Philippines — President Benigno Aquino III on Sunday gathered the Cabinet security cluster to iron out preparations for the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders' Meeting following terror attacks in Paris.

"The president convened the security cluster in light of the recent developments," Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte told the media on Sunday.

"President Aquino wanted to ensure that all our preparations are in place and all contingencies have been planned for. As he said, it is better to be over prepared than caught under prepared," Valte added.

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Valte said the meeting attended by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Interior Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, National Security Council Secretary-General Cesar Garcia and Philippine National Police Chief Ricardo Marquez lasted an hour and a half at the Bahay ng Pangarap at Malacañan on Saturday.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. also said Aquino personally monitors "all the aspects particularly on ensuring the security and safety of the public and the APEC leaders and delegates from other countries."

The Palace assured security plans are well prepared to ensure safety of the 10,000 delegates including the 18 state heads as well as 3,000 media members.

Meanwhile, over 120 people were killed in the French capital attacks on Saturday, Philippine time. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group claimed to be behind the attacks.

Charles Jose, spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs, said no delegation has expressed concern about the security measures being undertaken for the leaders' meeting this week.

"Of course, our security officials are monitoring and assessing the situation and we are taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety and security of all delegates in the AELM [APEC Leaders' Meeting], especially the economic leaders," he added. — Rosette Adel

ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION ECONOMIC LEADERS CHARLES JOSE DEFENSE SECRETARY VOLTAIRE GAZMIN DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS DEPUTY PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESPERSON ABIGAIL VALTE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO OCHOA INTERIOR SECRETARY MEL SENEN SARMIENTO IRAQ AND SYRIA ISLAMIC STATE QUOT SECURITY
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