Police on alert for Miss Universe grand coronation

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Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde, head of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — It's all systems go for the security preparations for the Miss Universe pageant on Monday.

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Chief Oscar Albayalde said on Friday, more than 1,500 policemen will be deployed inside and outside the Mall of Asia Arena to ensure the safety of the candidates and those who will watch the pageant live.

Forces from the military and the coastguard will augment the security force.

Albayalde said the preliminary pageant on Thursday served as a dry-run of their security protocols for the pageant proper--but stricter security protocols will be in place on Monday, including placement of X-ray machines and metal detectors at all the entry points of the MOA Arena.

The 15,000-seater Mall of Asia Arena has been sold out.

So far, the NCRPO has not monitored any imminent threat to the Miss Universe pageant. But the police will remain on alert for possible terror activities, especially with the developments in Mindanao.

"We are not downplaying that threat. Especially here in Metro Manila...we still maintain the high security threat level," Albayalde said.

The NCRPO chief said they are on high alert due to the possible retaliation of ISIS-inspired terror groups in Mindanao, after government troops killed the leader of terror group Ansar Al-Khilafa in an encounter in Sarangani earlier this month.

"There is always that possibility of a retaliatory act. Especially now na merong namatay na leader sa kanila (Especially now that one of their leaders died)," Albayalde said.