PNP to field 15,000 cops for Duterte's final SONA

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 23 2021 03:09 PM

PNP to field 15,000 cops for Duterte's final SONA 1
Members of progressive group Akbayan hold a rally on Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City on July 23, 2021 to dramatize the administration’s human rights violations ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte’s last State of the Nation Address. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA— The Philippine National Police will deploy some 15,000 police officers to secure President Rodrigo Duterte's sixth and last State of the Nation Address on July 26, the country's police chief said Friday.

"Handang-handa na ang inyong Philippine National Police sa SONA ng ating Pangulong Duterte sa darating na Lunes," PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said in a statement.

"Nakalatag na ang mga security plan at nakaantabay na rin ang sufficient number ng ating kapulisan para sa deployment at iba pang contingency measures,” he added.

(Your PNP is ready for President Duterte's SONA this Monday. We have laid out the security plan and a sufficient number of policemen are standing by for deployment and other contingency measures.)

Three days ahead of the chief executive's final report to the nation, Eleazar said police have not monitored any threat to Duterte's security.

Police officers will also use body-worn cameras to monitor movement of those allegedly planning to disrupt the SONA at the Batasang Pambansa, he added.

Amid presence of the more contagious Delta variant of COVID-19, the police chief urged groups to stage mass actions online.

"...Lubha pang delikado ang ganitong klaseng pagtitipon lalo na at may kumpirmasyon na ng local transmission ng Delta variant ng COVID-19. Mas ligtas na makinig at manood na lang tayo ng SONA sa ating mga tahanan," he said.

(Mass gathering [like rallies] is dangerous after confirmation of local transmission of the Delta variant of COVID-19. It's safer to listen and watch the SONA at home.)

'GOODBYE DUTERTE'

On Friday morning, progressive group Akbayan held a protest dubbed "Goodbye Duterte Day" along Commonwealth Ave., ahead of the President's annual speech where he is expected to showcase his administration's accomplishments.

"Mukhang magbibida na naman siya ng kaniyang 'Build, Build, Build' program na alam naman natin na isang panakip-butas lang sa lahat ng kapalpakan na kinakaharap niya," the group's spokesperson Dr. RJ Naguit said.

(He will flaunt his "Build, Build, Build" program, which we know will be used as a cover up of all his failures he's facing right now.)

Dozens of people held placards showing "Goodbye Duterte" over the President's alleged incompetence as a leader. 

The group also brought moving boxes to symbolize the call for Duterte to move out of his office after years of alleged violence and dictatorship.

Other sectoral organizations will also join Akbayan on Monday for a march and protest during Duterte's last SONA.

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— With a report from Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News