PNP to focus on traffic for martial law rallies
The Philippine National Police (PNP) will focus on keeping roads free from obstruction on the “national day of protest” on Thursday when the nation commemorates the 45th year of the declaration of martial law under the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
“We will focus on traffic,” said PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos.
Carlos told reporters on Tuesday that the Manila Police District would activate Task Force Manila Shield on that day while the National Capital Regional Police Office (NCRPO) would provide additional security, if needed.
He said the NCRPO was finalizing its security deployment plan for the rally organized by the Movement Against Tyranny to protest the government’s bloody war on drugs and the alleged silencing of critics, including the Commission on Human Rights.
Organizers of the rally said various groups would march from different parts of Metro Manila to Rizal Park.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday declared Sept. 21 a “national day of protest,” suspending work in government offices and classes in public schools. He encourage various groups to join the protest.
“But do not, for the life of me, I am asking you, do not commit crime — no vandalism, no lahat, because the police and the Army will be in their barracks. What you will just see is just traffic,” he said.
Carlos said the security arrangements would not be as strict as those during international events, such as this year’s meetings of officials from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
“We are confident that protesters will police themselves and we appeal to them not to commit crime,” he said.
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