MANILA - An official in charge of maintaining security in President Rodrigo Duterte's second State of the Nation Address (SONA) is not discounting the possibility that drug syndicates may mount an attack during the highly awaited event.
House Sergeant-at-Arms Roland Detabali said Wednesday that security will be tightened for the July 24 SONA to thwart the possible retaliation of groups affected by Duterte's policies, including his anti-narcotics crackdown.
"We will do our best [against] terrorists, possible syndicates, especially drug syndicates," Detabali told reporters.
The official however clarified that the security threat is not serious because intelligence reports so far only indicated that activists will likely hold protests during Duterte's speech.
At least 6,000 officers from the Quezon City Police District will be deployed to protest areas and the Batasan Pambansa Complex, where Duterte will deliver his SONA.
Heightened security will also be implemented at the legislative complex on July 24.
Only 1,500 guests will be allowed to watch Duterte's speech at the plenary hall, added House Secretary General Cesar Pareja. -- Report from Robert Mano, ABS-CBN News