By Jaimie Rose Aberia
The Manila Police District has advised the public to stay at home and avoid areas where the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meetings and other activities will be held starting on Wednesday (April 26).
“We are asking the public to if possible, please avoid the ASEAN venues in this period so as not to inconvenience them and also not to add to our security considerations at the time. If possible, they can go visit the provinces, it’s a very long weekend,” Coronel said.
The ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings is set to be held from April 26 to 29 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.
The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) complex, where PICC is located, has been designated as an “ASEAN delegates only” zone during the three-day meetings.
Coronel said their deployment is mostly concentrated in the areas of Ermita, Malate, and Intramuros.
“We have two Heads of States staying—the president of Vietnam and the president of Myanmar, they are both staying at the Manila Diamond Hotel in Ermita, while the ASEAN Secretary General will stay at the New World Manila Bay,” he said.
“They will be arriving on the 27th. We are already on full alert, and we will coordinate for their security. I understand that there will be arranged tours for members of the different delegations in Intramuros, so we are deploying increased police visibility in the area,” Coronel added.
Of the 138 ASEAN-related meetings scheduled this 2017, two-thirds will be held in Metro Manila.
Coronel said they will be deploying 2,010 policemen comprising 45 percent of the total strength of city police force to help secure the ASEAN Summit.
The rest will be held at another summit and related meetings in Clark this November, which will be attended by 22 heads of state, including United Nations Secretary General António Guterres.
Coronel also asked the public to report any suspicious persons, activities, and abandoned belongings to MPD’s direct line 523-32-01 or through Text Bato 2286 and the national emergency hotline 911.
“We are asking the public to help us monitor any possible threats particularly those that might endanger the safety and security of the ASEAN delegates, considering that we are the host country. So, report to the police any suspicious persons, movements, belongings or things and we will act on that immediately,” Coronel assured.
To avoid being locked up in the expected traffic congestion during the event, Coronel also advised the public to check the ASEAN 2017 calendar of events and traffic advisories and rerouting at http://www.asean2017.ph or at the official Facebook page “ASEAN 2017” of the ASEAN 2017 Chairmanship in the Philippines.