The security preparations for President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 24 are nearing completion, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters in Camp Crame, PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said some 5,000 to 6,000 police officers would be deployed in the vicinity of the House of Representatives where the President would deliver the annual address.
She said the police force would also implement the “Manila Shield” where other places of convergence would also be secured.
“We make sure na yung ating regular beat and patrol ay hindi mako-compromise dahil may mga tinitingnan din tayong mga lugar particularly yung mga crime prone areas natin, hindi natin pababayaan hangga’t may mga naka focus tayong police personnel doon sa paligid at labas ng Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City (Our regular beat and patrol operations will not be compromised because we are looking at some areas, particularly our crime prone areas, they would not be left unguarded as long as we have focused police personnel around and outside of the Batasang Pambansa),” she stressed.
She said the PNP has yet to receive any information on security threats for the occasion even as it continues to coordinate with the military regarding the matter.
Fajardo, meanwhile, said there would be “designated areas” for protests that would be staged by various groups.
“Sa ngayon ay nabanggit ni Brig. Gen. Nic Torre (Quezon City Police District director) na wala pa naman silang nare-receive na ano mang applications para magsagawa ng any protest action or rally but just the same alam natin na itong kahabaan ng Commonwealth Avenue ay hindi considered freedom park nandiyan yung Quezon City Memorial Circle, puwede sila magsagawa ng kilos protesta doon at yan naman po ay papayagan (So far, according to Brig. Gen. Nic Torre (QCPD Director) that they have not received any applications to hold any protest action or rally but just the same we know that this stretch of Commonwealth Avenue is not considered freedom park there is the Quezon City Memorial Circle, they can perform a protest action there and that will be allowed),” Fajardo said.
“Pero kung sila ay magmamartsa at mag aaklas at magra-rally sa kahabaan ng Commonwealth ay medyo pinapakiusapan natin na huwag na po nila ituloy dahil yan ay maaaring makaaapekto sa daloy ng trapiko (But if they are going to march and protest and rally along the Commonwealth, we are urged them not to pursue because that could affect the flow of traffic),” she added.
Article 7, Section 23 of the Constitution requires the President to “address the Congress at the opening of its regular session”.
The President delivers the SONA every year, usually held every last Monday of July, to report the state of the country, unveil the administration’s agenda and ask Congress to pass priority measures. (PNA)