PNP: Add’l personnel needed for Apec
CAMP DANGWA, Benguet— The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in November may draw up to 5,000 demonstrators, requiring a massive deployment of policemen to Metro Manila, a police official said here on Tuesday.
Chief Supt. Edgar Layon, who oversees the antiriot and public order units of the Philippine National Police, said he had been visiting police offices to draw augmentation forces from the provinces.
This year’s Apec summit is being hosted by the Philippines from Nov. 16 to 18. But the police will need to secure preliminary activities starting Nov. 12.
Layon, a former Northern Police District director, commander of the special tactics group on public order, went to Benguet province to inspect the teams being volunteered to augment the Apec security and to audit the region’s antiriot gear.
“We learned that 2,000 people are already prepared to mount a rally against the Apec, some of them coming from Mindanao,” Layon said when he addressed an assembly of Cordillera policemen here.
That number could easily swell to 5,000 based on an intelligence assessment provided by the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, he said.
Demonstrators may conduct lightning protests, but their primary goal is to disrupt key summit meetings at the Philippine International Convention Center in Manila, he said.
Police teams would also be sent to secure various hotels in Metro Manila where independent and separate bilateral discussions would take place among dignitaries attending the summit, he said.
Layon said police from Metro Manila and Central Luzon would provide the first line of security.
The Cordillera is prepared to send 500 policemen, said Chief Supt. Ulysses Abellera, regional police director.
Layon said he was considering sending some of the Cordillera policemen to secure the United States Embassy, “which is, historically, a target of protests.”
“The problem for now is how to house [all of the policemen coming from the provinces],” he said.
An option is to build what he called a “tent city” for policemen, either on the grounds of Solaire Resort and Casino or SM Mall of Asia, he said.
“Once you are deployed there, you cannot go home until it is over,” Layon said. “But please be patient. The country’s reputation is at stake,” he added. Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon
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