Cops, MMDA on full alert for SONA

More or less 10,000 cops and traffic enforcers will be deployed to ensure peace and order as President Benigno Aquino III delivers his State of the Nation’s Address (SONA) Monday.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) is placing its forces in the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) on full alert come Friday in preparation for Monday’s event.

NCRPO head Chief Supt. Marcelo Garbo Jr. on Wednesday said about 5,000 cops will be posted around the metro amid possible threats during Aquino's SONA.

“The threat that I said is in reference to the number of rallyists. The public has nothing to worry about. It is not related to terrorist or crime groups,” Garbo said.

Police forces have nonetheless been instructed to enforce maximum tolerance in dealing with protesters
 
Quezon City Police District (QCPD) director, Chief Supt. Richard Albano expects around 18,000 militants to hold protest near Batasang Pambansa Complex.
 
To ensure order near the House of Representatives, Albano said his police district will be deploying 3,000 to 4,000 personnel for SONA.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will be deploying about 1,200 personnel to ensure orderly flow of traffic flow in Quezon City next week.
 
MMDA Assistant General Manager for Operations Emerson Carlos said the figure includes teams of traffic, anti-riot, and rescue personnel.
 
Carlos explained even sidewalk-clearing operations staff will be tasked to manage both vehicular traffic or deal with rallyists.
 
The agency noted they will also put about 100 personnel including trucks and ambulance on stand-by for crowd control and management.
 
MMDA advised motorists and public utility drivers plying Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City everyday to take alternate routes next week.

This, as it plans to close certain sections of the highway to traffic to ensure the security of the President and guests attending the SONA.
 
Carlos also said the agency’s Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program or the “number-coding” scheme will not be lifted on Monday.

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