The Quezon City Police District on Monday said it will deploy 3,000 policemen during President Arroyo’s State of the Nation Address (SoNA) at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City on July 27.
Chief Superintendent Elmo San Diego, QCPD director, said the policemen will help augment military forces to secure the Batasang Pambansa during the President's speech. He said police will impose maximum tolerance of street protests during the SoNA.
The Philippine National Police earlier activated a special task force to oversee the implementation of security measures in Metro Manila before and during the President's SoNA.
PNP chief Director General Jesus Verzosa designated Chief Superintendent Roberto Rosales, director of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), as commander of Task Force Kapayapaan.
Among the details that will be discussed by the Task Force commander and members are the number of the policemen that will be deployed and other security measures that will also look into bombing incidents in Metro Manila over the past days.
On Saturday, the military's National Capital Region Command also held a mustering of troops in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City and inspection of the troops' equipment as part of the SONA preparations.
"These are normal. Every time the President is set to deliver her SONA, our AFP and the PNP [Philippine National Police ]are preparing," said AFP public affairs office chief Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner Jr. of their preparations.
Brawner said that while the possibility of a destabilization move during the SONA is remote, they are preparing for it anyway.
"We are preparing but at the same time we are realistic in our assessment. As of now, our assessment is that these talks about destabilization plots are merely rumors," the official said.
"We are preparing for eventuality because we are not only confronting possible destabilization, we also have the rallies and other actions that may lead to chaos," said Brawner.
The military officer cited past experiences where some groups would fan out rumors of destabilization every time the President, the military's commander-in-chief, gives her SONA.
Brawner said there is no real threat to destabilize the Arroyo government, stressing that the supposed Oplan August Moon was made up by some groups to sow intrigue in the military.
The “Oplan” supposedly calls for the relief of AFP chief Gen. Victor Ibrado and the appointment of Army chief Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit, a perceived Arroyo general, as his successor.
The Oplan will supposedly then lead to the extension of the President's term beyond 2010.
"We are now discounting this as a threat to national development or national security," said Branwer of the Oplan.
"Based on the evidence we recently gathered, this is just the work of people who want it to make it appear that there is chaos in our country, that there is infighting in our AFP. These are all made up, these are purely the products of imagination of some people," he said.