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Año: No security threats at Marcos inauguration

Romina Cabrera - The Philippine Star
Año: No security threats at Marcos inauguration
“For now, we have not seen any threat in the inauguration … except for some protest rallies that may be held by some groups. We are on alert for that,” Año told reporters in Filipino yesterday.
Michael Varcas, file

MANILA, Philippines — There are no perceived security threats to the inauguration of president-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., according to Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.

“For now, we have not seen any threat in the inauguration … except for some protest rallies that may be held by some groups. We are on alert for that,” Año told reporters in Filipino yesterday.

He said they are fully prepared as Marcos takes his oath of office at the National Museum on June 30.

They are still waiting for the official list of guests, especially if there are foreign heads of state or other dignitaries who will attend the inauguration.

“We have completed the preparations, especially in the security component. What we are just talking about here is how many visitors will attend, especially those who will come from other countries. There is still no list for heads of state, but we will prepare in case there will be ones who will attend,” Año said.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) chief asked protesters to keep their rallies at designated freedom parks and not to disrupt the inauguration proper.

He said the government respects their freedom to assemble and express their sentiments, but peace and order should be maintained.

“We will designate an area where they can hold their rallies so that they cannot disrupt the inauguration, because the event should not be disrupted. We will respect their freedom of expression, but there should be regulation. There is freedom of speech, but there should be peace and order,” he added.

DILG spokesman Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya explained that peaceful assembly will be respected as it is a constitutional right, but it should be done within the bounds of the law.

“They should not jostle with the police; we will not allow that to happen. The country is looking for a peaceful transition of power. Thirty-one million people voted for the (incoming) president, and we have to respect the decision of the people,” Malaya said.

PNP all set

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is all set for the Marcos inaugural.

PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. yesterday said around 98 percent of their security measures are in place for the activity.

“We are almost 98 percent done. Only the placing of infrastructure to be established by the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) is what we are working on,” Danao told reporters.

He assured Marcos, his family and their supporters of their safety.

“We would like to assure our incoming president that on behalf of the PNP, 225,000 officers and men of the PNP, our forces are ready for the inauguration,” Danao said.

The PNP OIC inspected the security preparations at the National Museum together with PNP Directorate for Operations head Maj. Gen. Valeriano de Leon and other ranking police officials.

At least 7,000 police officers will secure Marcos’ oath-taking as the country’s next president.

Danao suggested to the inaugural committee to change seating arrangement where VIPs, who are estimated to be around 1,200, should be seated followed by the security contingent and the rest of the audience.

Security measures will be tight, according to Danao, who admitted that they have received reports that some groups are planning to hold rallies to disrupt the event.

He appealed to cause-oriented groups not to hold their rallies near the venue so as not to cause disruption, although they have contingency measures in the event that demonstrators would sow violence.

Every person who will enter the venue will undergo security checks, according to Danao.

People will be allowed to carry only transparent materials such as bags. Colored water containers will be prohibited.

Danao said roads around the venue would be closed to traffic starting June 26 at 12:01 a.m. and advised motorists to use alternate routes. – Emmanuel Tupas, Robertzon Ramirez

EDUARDO AñO

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