PHILIPPINE National Police chief General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar assured their 100 percent preparedness to secure President Duterte’s last State-of-the-Nation-Address this coming July 26.
According to the top cop, the National Capital Region Police Office headed by Major Gen. Vicente D. Danao Jr. and the Quezon City Police District led by Brigadier Gen. Antonio C. Yarra are spearheading the SONA security preparations.
The Presidential Security Group will be in-charge of the security inside the Batasan Pambansa in Q.C. while the QCPD and the NCRPO will be providing perimeter protection during the event.
“Palapit nang palapit ang SONA ng ating Pangulo at batid ng inyong PNP ang matinding interes ng ating mga kababayan sa kanyang mensahe kaya naman patuloy ang aming paghahanda para dito,” said Gen. Eleazar.
“Naging tahimik at maayos ang mga nakalipas na SONA ng ating Pangulo at ito ang nagsisilbing template ng inyong kapulisan sa darating na Hulyo 26, kabilang ang maayos na pakikipag-usap sa lahat ng grupo,” he added.
Gen. Eleazar was instrumental in ensuring zero casualty and zero incident during President Duterte’s first two SONAs in 2016 and 2017 when he was still the Q.C. Police District director and two other SONAs when he was the NCRPO director from 2018 to 2019.
He was the commander of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield during President Duterte’s 5th SONA last year.
Gen. Eleazar was the one who initiated the removal of container vans and other barricades which had been present in all other previous SONAs before him, arguing that their presence only invited aggressiveness on the part of the protesters.
Instead, he pushed for dialogues with various groups.
Gen. Eleazar said police are also coordinating with other offices and stakeholders to determine the setup of Duterte’s last SONA, given that there is still a pandemic in the country.
At the same time, he urged groups planning to hold mass actions to reconsider and just conduct their activities online to avoid contracting COVID-19.
“We encourage these groups planning to conduct mass actions to coordinate their activities with the PNP. Pero mas makabubuti sana kung gawin na lamang nilang virtual ang kanilang mga activities para na din sa kaligtasan ng lahat mula sa COVID-19 lalo na’t nakapasok na sa ating bansa ang mas nakahahawang Delta variant,” he said.
The PNP chief assured that no security threat has been monitored for President Duterte’s address on July 26.
However, he said the police force will be on full alert and enough police officers will be deployed to ensure that no untoward incident happens on that day.