PMA beefs up security as 6,000 expected to attend homecoming
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — The Philippine Military Academy (PMA) has requested additional units to help secure its campus as thousands of visitors are expected to flock to Fort Gregorio del Pilar in Baguio City for the alumni homecoming this weekend.
PMA Information Officer Lt. Col. Harry Baliaga Jr. said on Friday that the heightened security for the 2019 PMA Alumni Homecoming on Saturday is in line with the recent bombings in Mindanao.
Baliaga told reporters in an interview inside the PMA Campus that the reason for the request was the security lapses in the past weeks, particularly in Jolo, Sulu.
“At gusto nating hindi mangyari ‘yon dito sa PMA (We don’t want that to happen here at PMA) so we invited some units, special units para mag-add sa security,” he added.
Baliaga said the PMA estimates around 2,000 alumni to attend the gathering, and they may be accompanied by more than 4,000 relatives and friends.
“So we’re expecting 6,000 people sa PMA bukas (tomorrow),” he explained.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Benjamin Madrigal Jr. and other high-ranking officers and personalities are expected to attend the event.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, a former AFP Chief of Staff, would be the keynote speaker.
Because of this, Baliaga advised tourists to avoid the area.
“May traffic scheme na tayong ginawa, nagdagdag na tayo ng parking spaces outside the PMA (We have prepared a traffic scheme and we added more parking spaces outside the PMA),” he said.
Baliaga is not encouraging tourists to flock to the PMA at this time for their own convenience.
“Baka hindi rin sila mag-enjoy sa sobrang traffic na madatnan nila dito (They may not enjoy their stay because of the traffic condition here),” he added. /ee