Asean security measures forgot portable toilets
In the heat of security and logistical preparations for the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit, they apparently forgot one thing: portalets.
The Philippine National Police scrambled on Wednesday to produce portable toilets after a ranking police official discovered that nearly 4,000 officers guarding the summit site had nowhere to go to relieve themselves and did not have enough drinking water since Monday.
Director Oscar Albayalde, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief, inspected the summit site, the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) complex in Pasay City, and found that there was not a single portalet for the policemen deployed in the area.
“We checked where they were detailed, particularly along Roxas Boulevard and we saw that they had no portalets and not enough water,” Albayalde said in a press briefing.
Albayalde said the policemen got to drink only when their meals were distributed, as these included water.
He said the portalets should have been deployed with the policemen on Monday.
“We have lists for this. All of these are listed down in the requirements so we don’t know why this was overlooked. Good thing we conducted an inspection and we immediately saw what our men needed,” he said.
Albayalde said he coordinated with higher headquarters and the joint task force for the Asean summit and they assured him that portalets and drinking water would arrive before sundown on Wednesday.
Albayalde said 80 to 100 portalets would be distributed in the vicinity of the CPP complex, which was locked down for the duration of the summit, beginning Wednesday.
“When we say lockdown, it means these places are totally closed to pedestrians and motorists. And, of course, the establishments inside are also closed,” he said.
“So, the public will have nowhere to go here. The restaurants will be closed,” he added.
Albayalde said police were coordinating with the security officers of Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila and other hotels in the area for the movements of their guests who were not attending the Asean summit.
He said parts of Roxas Boulevard and Buendia Avenue near the CCP complex would not be affected by the tight security measures and these would be closed only temporarily to allow the motorcades of summit guests through.
“Those coming from the hotels in Makati—Shangri-La and Dusit—will pass through the Skyway. This is what our President [wants]. He does not want [commuters] to be inconvenienced, because he experienced that when he was still mayor,” Albayalde said.
He said cell phone signals in the area would not be jammed and protests, even without permits, would be allowed as long as these are peaceful.
“In Manila, probably, they can stay in Liwasang Bonifacio. They can’t go near the US Embassy,” he said, referring to protesters.
Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos, spokesperson for the PNP, urged the public to report anything suspicious through the police hotline, 09989674498.
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