8,500 cops to secure EDSA rites

Mark Ernest Villeza - The Philippine Star
8,500 cops to secure EDSA rites
Renato Vallarte (C), a worker from the Spirit of EDSA Foundation, attaches flags to the statues at the People Power Monument two days before the anniversary of the People Power revolution in Manila on February 23, 2016. The Philippines is this week celebrating 30 years of democracy, but thousands who suffered through the Marcos dictatorship tremble with anger at slow justice and the stunning political ascent of the late strongman's heir. President Benigno Aquino will on February 25 lead the commemoration of the "People Power" uprising that allowed his mother, Corazon, to take over from Ferdinand Marcos after he fled to the United States.
AFP / Noel Celis, File

MANILA, Philippines — At least 8,500 police officers will be deployed to secure the commemoration of the 38th EDSA people power revolt, the Philippine National Police (PNP) announced yesterday.

Police are closely monitoring two protest actions to be held in Cebu and Manila on Feb. 25., according to PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr.

Acorda said about 2,500 police personnel would be deployed in Cebu while 6,000 PNP officers will secure the EDSA rites in Metro Manila.

Acknowledging the importance of maintaining calm and order during the rallies, Acorda underscored the principle of maximum tolerance while urging participants to refrain from causing disturbances.

“Police will be exercising maximum tolerance, but I hope there will be no problems,” he said.

Asked about threat assessments, the PNP chief said there are currently no significant concerns apart from the expected crowds during the commemoration of the EDSA people power revolt.

Acorda said the PNP is monitoring intelligence reports and will adjust deployment strategies accordingly to ensure public safety.

‘Don’t hold rallies anywhere you want’

The Manila city government appealed to groups planning to hold rallies during the anniversary of the EDSA people power revolt to “avoid conducting protests anywhere they want.”

Mayor Honey Lacuna said city hall would assign areas for groups to hold their protest programs without the need to secure rally permits.

Last year, the Manila Police District designated four freedom parks – Plaza Miranda in Quiapo, Plaza Dilao in Paco, Plaza Moriones and Liwasang Bonifacio – where protesters staged their rallies. — Ghio Ong

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