Erap to MPD: Ensure safety of delegates to Asean Summit

tribune.net.ph | by: Pat C. Santos | October 12, 2017

 

Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada has directed the Manila Police District (MPD) to finalize the security measures for next month’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit, including the retraining of the policemen assigned to provide security to world leaders and foreign delegates.

Highlighting the importance of this gathering of prominent heads of states and VIPs, including US President Donald Trump, Estrada considers the Asean conference as the biggest meeting to be hosted by the Philippines and the City of Manila.

“Important issues will be discussed during this meeting of world leaders so we have to do our part in ensuring that there will be zero incidents during the conduct of Asean activities,” Estrada pointed out.

In coordination with national and regional security and law enforcement agencies, the Manila mayor reminded the Manila Police District (MPD) to see to it that its security measures are foolproof to guarantee the safety and security of all delegates and participants and facilitate the uninterrupted conduct of all Asean activities.

MPD director Chief Supt. Joel Coronel, in an interview, said 2,500 policemen — half of the city police’s total armed strength — will be committed to the Asean event starting on the first week of November up to the leaders’ meetings on November 13 to 15.

They will be part of the 19,000-strong police security contingent belonging to Task Group Manila Shield which was formed to secure the Asean Summit from terrorist groups and criminal rings.
As tasked by Estrada, Coronel said each unit is undergoing refresher training on area security, billet security, route security, communication and civil disturbance management.

“As early as November 10, 11, 12, we will be putting in place our security plans. Magkakaroon na tayo ng malawakang security deployment,” Coronel bared.

Most of the Asean meetings and events, according to Coronel, will be held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex, especially at the Philippine International Convention Center; VIP convoys will also regularly pass through Roxas Boulevard and other major roads in the city.

World leaders and foreign delegates will also be billeted in five big hotels in the city, namely, Manila Hotel, Manila Diamond Hotel, New World Manila Bay Hotel, Pan Pacific and Century Park Sheraton, he added.

Coronel assured the public the MPD’s security contingent will be in full defensive status 24/7 even as they have not received any threat alert from other security agencies regarding any possible terrorist activity during this period.

Addressing the public, Coronel warned that security will be extra tight, especially in and around the meeting venues and billeting areas of VIPs and delegates in Manila.

“People with no official business will not be allowed to roam around these places. There will be strict checkpoints, road detours or rerouting, and it will cause a lot of inconvenience,” he said.

Coronel advised the public it would be wise to avoid these places.
Aside from Trump, the prime ministers of Japan, Australia and Canada will also attend the Asean meeting as well as the foreign minister of China. All in all, there will be 22 world leaders and heads of states who are expected to start arriving in the country on November 8.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is also expected to participate in the summit to discuss the role of the regional bloc in the global fight against terrorism.