The Philippine National Police (PNP) has started mapping out its security plan for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s second State of the Nation Address (SONA) in July, PNP chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. disclosed.
Acorda said the PNP will collate available intelligence reports in their possession, including those from other law enforcement agencies, to assess all potential security threats during the event.
“Preparations on the ground are in full swing for us to ensure that the staging of this event will be peaceful and orderly. All information relevant to security matters are being seriously evaluated,” the PNP chief said.
Acorda said security measures will cover all possible scenarios, including the PNP’s contingency moves, that could take place inside and outside the Batasan Pambansa complex in Quezon City, where President Marcos will address members of Congress during the SONA.
He also said they are still finalizing the exact number of PNP personnel who will be deployed in the SONA venue and in some parts of Metro Manila to handle the peace and order situation.
“Expect the PNP to maximize the utilization of all its available resources to ensure the peaceful and orderly staging of this event,” he said.
Demonstrators will not be barred from staging protest rallies during the President’s SONA, Acorda said.
However, he explained that protest actions should be staged only in designated freedom parks as provided by law.
Acorda said the PNP will exercise “maximum tolerance” in dealing with demonstrators during the SONA.
“We will also reach out to representatives of all groups who are planning to stage protest rallies during the event. I am hopeful that we can arrive at a consensus, where they can exercise their freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, but without prejudice to the security measures we intend to adopt,” he added.