Saturday, 21 July 2012 10:48
The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has said that all security measures are in place to ensure that no untoward incident will mar President Benigno S. Aquino III's third State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.
NCRPO Director Alan Purisima said they are deploying some 6,000 NCRPO personnel from the regional headquarters and Metro Manila's five police districts in strategic locations around the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City on that day.
He added that these personnel will be deployed for civil disturbance management and crowd control operations, traffic direction and control, and general law enforcement operations.
Purisima said the NCRPO is presently fine-tuning coordination with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), House of Representatives, Local Government Units, and other concerned agencies.
He also reported having achieved significant headway in establishing lines of communication and dialogue with the leaders of militant organizations that have announced plans to stage mass actions and public assemblies on SONA Day.
Purisima gave reassurance that the NCRPO will not tolerate any rights abuses by any of its personnel dealing with protesters during the President's SONA.
Meanwhile, PNP chief Director-General Nicanor A. Bartolome has instructed Purisima to keep all lines of communication open with the militant groups to maintain order in all public assemblies and activities.
Bartolome also reminded NCRPO officials not to let their guard down in conducting normal anti-crime operations despite their temporary preoccupation with their SONA security operations.
Purisima said he has asked his men to strictly observe the police operational procedures and respect for human rights in dealing with any protest actions during the President’s address.
At the same time, the PNP chief directed the regional directors of Luzon-based police regional offices to field their respective contingents to augment the NCRPO personnel.
The AFP National Capital Region Command is also mobilizing its own augmentation force to assist NCRPO when necessary.
In a related development, MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the agency will be deploying at least 950 MMDA personnel starting Sunday night to guide motorists on the traffic rerouting plan.
Tolentino said the 950 personnel will include traffic enforcers, street sweepers and civil disturbance units of the agency.
Tolentino, who is also head of the Presidential Task Force on Transport Strike and Mass Actions (TRASMA), said more than 200 personnel also underwent a dry-run on anti-riot strategies to deal with groups that may hold protest rallies on Monday
He said the MMDA personnel will serve as augmentation forces in the security operations prepared by the NCRPO.
“They will secure the Batasan Complex and surrounding areas,” Tolentino said.
He added that tow trucks and emergency vehicles of the MMDA will also be on standby and ready to respond to any distress calls with the agency’s Metro Base monitoring traffic and personnel deployment on a round-the-clock basis.
MMDA tow trucks will be deployed near the Sandiganbayan building, he added.
The agency also released alternate routes for public and private vehicles that will be implemented to ensure smooth traffic slow in Quezon City and to guide motorists on the traffic rerouting plan.
MMDA said that for private vehicles from Commonwealth- Fairview areas: right turn to Regalado, right to Dahlia, left to Chestnut, right to Old Sauyo Road, left to Mindanao Ave., right turn to EDSA.
From EDSA: right turn to Congressional, left to Mindanao Ave., right to Old Sauyo Road, left to Chestnut, right to Dahlia, left to Regalado, left/right turn to Commonwealth.
For public utility vehicles along Commonwealth Ave.: counter-flow traffic at least four lanes per direction will be implemented starting from Superstar KTV U-turn slot up to San Simon U-turn slot.
The MMDA said the Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) or the “number-coding” scheme will not be lifted. (PNA)
By Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan
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