Aquino oversees meeting on security plans for WEF, Apec in Manila
MANILA, Philippines — President Benigno Aquino III has taken it upon himself to check on the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s preparations to secure two high-profile international gatherings the country will host in 2014 and 2015.
In an hour-long command conference at Camp Crame on Monday, the President went over details of the country’s hosting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia from May 21 to 23, 2014, and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) in 2015, that would bring in scores of world leaders.
The President discussed with key officials the PNP’s logistical needs.
He also went over “administrative matters” such as the rivalry between graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) and the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) for key posts in the organization.
After the hour-long command conference, the President spent another hour in an executive session with Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima.
“We presented our plans for modernization, how to improve our services, and of course our security preparations for international events like the World Economic Forum and Apec,” Chief Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac, the PNP spokesman, told reporters afterwards.
“It’s been a while since President Aquino paid a visit to our police headquarters and talked to our key officers,” he added.
He said US President Barack Obama’s visit later this month was discussed only in passing and “in general terms” with other upcoming international events.
A gun enthusiast, the President went over the PNP’s plans for firearms proficiency training and equipment needs, according to Sindac.
The latest mall jewelry heist that took place at the SM Mall of Asia last March 30 was brought up as an example of the skills improvement that police officers needed.
Four rookie female police officers were commended for their quick response to that robbery.
The President reportedly did not express alarm over repeated brazen robberies inside shopping malls, and discussed “mostly administrative, logistical matters on how we could better improve our public safety services,” Sindac said.
But the President did take up the “conflict” between graduates of the PMA and the PNPA for leadership positions in the PNP.
“Yes this was discussed also as part of administrative matters. (His instruction was) to study how to make (assignments) more equitable and of course proportionate,” Sindac said.
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