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NCRPO all set for PBBM’s SONA – Okubo

June 7, 2023 Alfred P. Dalizon 233 views

NATIONAL Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Major General Edgar Alan O. Okubo on Wednesday assured their “100% preparedness” to keep the 2nd State-of-the-Nation-Address (SONA) of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. this coming July 24 safe and secure.

According to the official, a total of 22,081 personnel will be assigned to secure the President’s SONA, with 17,121 of them coming from the NCRPO headquarters and its five districts, while the rest will come from the different Philippine National Police NCRPO-based National Support Unit (NSU) and the Aviation Security Group (ASG).

Others will be from the PNP Special Action Force (PNP-SAF), Joint Task Force NCR, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Department of Health (DOH), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Philippine Red Cross (PRC).

Another 500 “force multipliers” from different volunteer groups as well as 4,405 members of the PNP Reactionary Standby Support Force, will also help augment the security outside the Batasan Pambansa complex in Quezon City and other parts of Metro Manila, Okubo said.

The NCRPO chief said they will be particularly tightening their security in and around the Batasan Pambansa complex and the 31 border control points inside and outside Metro Manila.

Okubo said that their Civil Disturbance Management contingents will be deployed to keep peace and order and enforce the law in the area, specifically in “Freedom Parks,” where would-be protesters are allowed to air their grievances provided it is within the bounds of the law.

He said that starting 12:01 a.m. of July 12 until 12 midnight of the same day, all Permits-to-Carry-Firearms-Outside-of-Residence issued to licensed gun holders will be temporarily suspended in Metro Manila.

“Ang pagtatalaga ng NCRPO ng inyong kapulisan para sa SONA 2023 ay naglalayong tiyakin ang kaligtasan at kapanatagan ng lahat ng nais makilahok sa araw na ito. Makakaasa ang ating mga kababayan na nirerespeto ng NCRPO ang inyong karapatang makapagbigay ng opinyon at saloobin,” Okubo said.

However, he appealed to leaders of different protest groups and the rest of the public to fully cooperate with their security measures to ensure that the SONA would be “trouble-free.”

PNP chief General Benjamin C. Acorda Jr. said that police will fully exercise “maximum tolerance” in dealing with would-be SONA demonstrators but made an impassioned appeal to the protesters to “respect” the police and, most importantly, refrain from throwing paint on officers.

“Ang appeal ko po sa mga rallyista eh observance of mutual respect. Nakikiusap po ako na irespeto din nila ang ating kapulisan lalo na yung mga mahilig sa paint-throwing. Please lang po, mahal po ang uniporme ng pulis, irespeto naman po natin sila,” Acorda said.

The PNP chief said that Okubo will be leading the SONA security outside the Batasan Pambansa complex and other parts of Metro Manila.

PNP Deputy Chief for Operations, Lieutenant Gen. Michael John F. Dubria will be the overall supervisor of the Task Force SONA.

Acorda said they are continuing their monitoring of different threat groups but are not in favor of “overkill” when it comes to the deployment of troops on the ground.

However, he said that police will continue enforcing the “No Permit, No Rally” policy and will only allow protesters to air their grievances in designated Freedom Parks.

PNP Human Rights Affairs Office director, Brigadier Gen. Limuel E. Obon, said that the PNP chief’s guidance is to ensure maximum tolerance and full observance of human rights during the President’s SONA.

“Guns are a no-no in the area. We will ensure na balance talaga sa gathering na yun and that human rights personnel will be there to monitor the situation and remind everybody, both the police and the protesters,” Obon said.