Metro Manila police chief urges ASEAN police to be alert during summit

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
totalITemsFound:
maxPaginationLinks: 10
maxPossiblePages:
startIndex:
endIndex:

National Capital Region Police Office Chief Oscar Albayalde (right) talks to police officers assigned to the ASEAN Summit.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 11) — National Capital Region Police Office Regional Director Oscar Albayalde on Friday urged his men to be alert during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meetings, as he conducted inspections for the event.

As preparatory meetings for the summit begin in Clark, Pampanga, Albayalde surveyed areas close to the venues of key ASEAN events in Manila this coming week.

Twenty-two heads of state will attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meetings from November 10 to 14.

As the leaders of some of the world's most powerful countries start to arrive on Saturday, Albayalde said sitting down on the job will not be acceptable.

"Palagi nating sinasabi sa mga taumbayan, hinhingi nating sila ay maging alerto samantalang tayo paupo-upo, 'di pwede 'yun," he said.

[Translation: We always tell the people, we ask them to be alert. But then we just sit down here, we can't do that.]

He said police should be alert in securing foreign VIPs and officials and be ready against any possible threat.

The government has deployed around 33,000 policemen in Metro Manila and nearby provinces to secure the summit and related meetings.

Police will be on duty 24 hours a day in shifts until November 15.

Albayalde reminded his men not to let their guard down even if thousands are securing meeting venues.

"Yung mga naka-deploy natin, may kumakain ng saging na kala mo walang kamatayan. Kumakain ng saging nasa gitna ng kalsada. Masamang tingnan… Remember, dadaan-daanan na ito ng foreign delegates," he said.

[Translation: The men we've deployed, some of them are eating bananas. They're eating bananas in the middle of the street. It doesn't look good… Remember, foreign delegates will pass here.]

The Metro Manila police chief also scolded officers he caught off guard.

Albayalde lashed out at three policemen stationed in Baclaran when he caught them texting on duty.

"Wala kayong ginawa kundi mag-text nang mag-text diyan eh. Nakita ninyo nang may dumadaan diyan. Wala nang ibang dadaan na naka-blinker diyan kundi yung mga VIP," he said.

[Translation: You aren't doing here, you're just texting there. You see someone's passing. It's just VIPs who can pass here with their blinkers on.]

Before this, Albayalde had ordered all police personnel to be vigilant on the eve of the summit.

"This undertaking is not just for the police, this is for our nation. This is our chance to show to the world that we are capable to secure the 22 world leaders and their colleagues. Let us do our share," Albayalde said in a statement Wednesday.

Aside from conference areas, police will also secure other places in Metro Manila.

This includes places where people are expected to gather for the holidays, such as Divisoria, Manila's busiest trading post.

Speaking in Vietnam on Thursday, President Rodrigo Duterte said government troops are ready to face any possible threats during the event.

"I cannot tell you about the preparations, where and what. But I can tell you that the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police are ready to meet the challenge," he said.

Cuy: Be at your best

Meanwhile, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Officer-in-Charge Catalino Cuy is urging security forces to be at their best this ASEAN summit.

In a letter to the government's security and public safety forces, Cuy, who is also chairman of the ASEAN Committee on Security, Peace and Order, and Emergency Preparedness and Response (CSPOEPR), said he trusts the officers will be prepared for any security threat during the event.

"Inaasahan kong handa ninyong harapin ang anumang banta sa seguridad na maaaring isagawa ng mga grupong nais maghasik ng kaguluhan at ilagay sa kahihiyan ang ating bansa," Cuy said, according to a DILG press release.

[Translation: I expect you are all ready to face whatever security threats terrorist groups might be planning to wreak havoc and bring shame to our country.]

He added, members of the CSPOEPR team should also be prepared to respond to possible natural calamities or other emergencies.

He thanked the team for their dedication and hard work during their rehearsals and dry-runs.

"Hindi biro ang panahong ibinigay ninyo upang maging eksperto sa larangan ng security, peace and order, at emergency preparedness and response," he added.

Cuy also reminded troopers to "always abide by the rule of law and operational protocols" as they exercise their duties.

In a separate press release, DILG assured the public that the police would respect protesters during the Summit.

The department said Cuy instructed police to exercise maximum tolerance and respect demonstrators' right to peaceful assembly.

Militant groups led by the Alyansang Makabayan are scheduled to hold a series of rallies starting November 12 against U.S. President Donald Trump.

Gov't to Pinoys: Go on vacation during the ASEAN

Meanwhile, the government is also urging the public to make the most of the ASEAN holiday.

The government has declared special nonworking days in Metro Manila, Bulacan, and Pampanga from November 13 to 15 to give way to the ASEAN summit.

READ: Palace declares work suspension for ASEAN Summit

In a press release, Cuy called on the public to make "last minute travel and vacation plans" during the long weekend.

"While the government is mobilizing its personnel and resources to ensure that the ASEAN summit will be safe and peaceful, we urge the public to do the government a favor by avoiding the ASEAN summit areas and making the most of the Asean holidays to be with their families," Cuy said.

DILG also reminded the government in enforcing a partial lockdown in the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex in Pasay, as well as a no-sail and no-fly zone in some parts of Manila.

READ: No sail zone' on Manila Bay on Nov. 5-16 due to ASEAN Summit

CNN Philippines' Xianne Arcangel and Amanda Lingao contributed to this story.