Anti-riot cops brace for China leader’s visit

Some 5,500 police officers will be deployed for the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping on Nov. 20-21, including anti-riot cops in case protests break out over Chinese encroachment in the West Philippine Sea, a top police official said Sunday.

READ: 5k cops to secure sino leader’s visit

Most of the police will come from Metro Manila, but at least 200 will come from the Civil Disturbance Management (CDM) unit of the CALABARZON regional police office, said National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar.

 Xi’s upcoming visit is his first to the Philippines, upon the invitation of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Eleazar said among those who would be deployed are anti-riot police in anticipation of possible protests in connection with the territorial dispute over the West Philippine Sea.

READ: Xi visit to model new PH-China ties

“There are possibilities of lightning rallies based on our monitoring, and we expect that every time there are visits from dignitaries from China and even the United States,” Eleazar said in a radio interview.

“But we have no problem with that because we always encounter lightning rallies almost every day. We are ready, and we have CDM contingents,” he added.

Eleazar said they are in constant coordination with the Chinese embassy in the Philippines in connection with security preparations.

“Coordination in security efforts has always been part of our preparations in summits and international events like APEC, and the ASEAN which has been a template on how to secure our guests and heads of states, including VIPs and dignitaries,” Eleazar said in Filipino.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo earlier said Duterte and Xi will exchange views on areas of mutual concern and chart the course for the future of Philippines-China bilateral relations.

Ties with Beijing, which turned sour during the previous administration, have been improving since Duterte embarked on his first state visit to China in October 2016.

Xi described Duterte’s first visit to Beijing as a “milestone” that mended the two countries’ ties derailed by the Philippines’ filing of arbitration case against China in 2013.

In May 2017, Duterte returned to Beijing to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

For the third time, Duterte went to China in April this year to attend the Boao Forum for Asia held in Hainan, a southern island province of China.

Xi’s first trip to the Philippines will take place a year after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Manila that led to the signing of 14 deals on infrastructures, climate change, defense cooperation, drug rehabilitation centers and Marawi rehabilitation. 

Topics: Xi Jinping , West Philippine Sea , Rodrigo Duterte , Guillermo Eleazar , Salvador Panelo
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