MANILA, Philippines?Policemen itching to watch Sunday?s live telecast of the megabucks fight between Manny Pacquiao and his American challenger, Sugar Shane Mosley, may have to settle for a replay of the boxing match or listen to the live blow-by-blow account on radio.
The Philippine National Police on Saturday reminded all its 135,000 personnel to stay alert for possible attacks by local terrorists following al-Qaida?s warning that it would exact revenge on the United States and its allies for the death of its leader Osama bin Laden.
PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz Jr. said all PNP units had been placed on heightened alert to avert criminal activities while millions of Filipinos are glued to the Pacquiao-Mosley slugfest.
Cruz said that although policemen may watch the boxing match, their primary concern should be the security of the people who are expected to troop to the venues offering a live telecast of the fight.
?Their (policemen) eyes should be focused not on the fight, but on monitoring criminals, terrorists and other threat groups,? Cruz said over the phone.
?Anyway, they can just use their ears to listen (to the radio coverage) or watch the replay in the evening,? he added.
Contrary to media reports, Cruz stressed that the police were not putting their guard down.
He said that securing the nation against terror attacks should take precedence over the policemen?s desire to watching Pacquiao?s fight.
?We are not relaxing. In fact, we will be on a multi-tasking mode as policemen, Pacquiao fans and loving children to our mothers today,? he said, noting that the boxing match coincides with the celebration of Mother?s Day.
He said PNP Director General Raul Bacalzo had ordered all regional police directors to make available all PNP mobile units in their jurisdictions for any eventuality.
According to Cruz, Bacalzo had given police field commanders the discretion to raise the security alert level in their respective localities.
?The PNP chief wants all policemen to be on their toes in guarding vital installations and places of convergence as we join our countrymen in cheering for our boxing champ Manny Pacquiao,? he said.