House Sergeant at Arms: Coordination meetings held to secure Sona 2022
MANILA, Philippines — Coordination meetings between different agencies are being done to ensure that security measures and contingency plans are in place for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s first State of the Nation Address (Sona), the House of Representatives Sergeant-at-Arms said.
According to retired Police Brig. Gen. Rodelio Jocson, the House’s Sergeant-at-Arms, several concerns that need to be ironed out were discussed during the recent inter-agency conferences.
Jocson said that Friday last week, they met with Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. and National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Maj. Gen. Felipe Natividad.
“Nagkaroon tayo ng inter-agency coordinating conferences wherein pinag-usapan natin ang mga bagay na dapat plantsahin para pagdating sa SONA, smooth na yung lahat,” Jocson said in a press statement posted on the House website.
(We had inter-agency coordinating conferences wherein everything that needed to be ironed out was discussed so that everything would be smooth by Sona day.)
Aside from Danao and Natividad, Jocson said they also met with the Presidential Security Group and its head, Col. Nelson Aluad, for the Sona, which would be held at the Batasan Complex on Monday, July 25.
Jocson said more inter-agency coordinating conferences would be conducted to ensure no loopholes in securing the event.
“(Meetings would continue until such time) ma finalize kung ano na lang yung kulang ng sa ganun pagdating ng D-Day sa Monday ay maayos na ang lahat, smooth na ang flow ng activities,” he added.
(Meetings would continue until anything lacking would be addressed so that the activities on D-Day on Monday would flow smoothly.)
The security template used for the past Sonas would be adopted, which means that the Batasan complex would be a no-fly zone, while signal jammers would be placed around the vicinity.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, health screening would still be observed. According to Jocson, people entering the House building must present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result.
“Sa ngayon patuloy pa rin yung ating health screening protocol natin para sa safety katulad ng dati at nadagdagan naman ngayon ng RT-PCR para masiguro natin lahat ng pumasok ay walang problema,” Jocson said.
(As of now, we are continuing to do our health screening protocol to ensure the safety of people, we are using old systems, but now we require an RT-PCR test to ensure that everyone who goes inside would not be infected.)
“Nangyayari naman yun para sa seguridad ng mga dadalo sa 19th Congress,” he added.
(These things happen to ensure the safety of those attending the opening of the 19th Congress.)
Last July 14, Natividad said that NCRPO would use the security protocol they employed at the inauguration of Marcos last June 30 as a template for the Sona. Over 21,000 security personnel are expected to be part of teams that would ensure peace and order in Metro Manila, particularly in Quezon City, on Monday.
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