Tightest security for "simple" Duterte SONA: House official

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 24 2017 10:12 AM | Updated as of Jul 24 2017 11:07 AM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte's state of the nation address on Monday will be the simplest and most tightly secured in recent years, a House of Representatives official said Monday.

"Ito ang pinakasimpleng SONA sa mga nakaraang taon. Ito rin ang pinakamahigpit because of several incidents that happened around the country," said Artemio Adasa Jr., HOR Deputy Secretary General for Legislative Operations, told ABS-CBN News.

(This is the simplest SONA in recent history. This will also have the tightest security because of several incidents that happened around the country.)

Adasa however clarified that intelligence units have not monitored any direct threat to the SONA.

Duterte is set to deliver his annual address to Congress while thousands of soldiers battle Islamic State-inspired extremists in the southern city of Marawi.

Communist rebels also launched a string of attacks, prompting the President to suspend peace negotiations.

House officials also earlier said they were not discounting a possible attack by crime syndicates affected by Duterte's anti-narcotics crackdown.

About 6,600 security troops will be deployed to maintain security during Monday's SONA, more than last year's 4,000-strong contingent, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said.

NCRPO Director Oscar Albayalde said administration critics would be allowed to protest Monday at the corner of Batasan and Sinagtala roads, about 900 meters away from the legislative complex where Duterte will deliver his speech.