By Chito Chavez
Philippine authorities will leave no stone unturned for the smooth conduct of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Manila.
Lt. Jomark U. Angue, spokesperson of Task Unit on Maritime Security, warned militant groups against staging fluvial protest activities on the “No Sail Zones.’’
The public has been advised that no vessel of any kind shall be allowed to pass through the vicinity waters of H2O Hotel, Manila to OKADA Hotel, New Seaside Drive in Parañaque City from Sunday, November 5 up to November 16 (Thursday).
Angue added that, for the same period, the shoreline from H2O Hotel to the mouth of Pasig River are designated as controlled zones where all vessels coming in and out of the shoreline will be escorted by Philippine Coast Guard patrol boats.
Angue warned protesters that the small motorized boats or bancas are meant for fishing and not suitable for transporting passengers. He further appealed to operators of such means of transport not to ferry anyone to avoid any accident that will put their lives at risk especially if the passengers are non-swimmers.
The TU on Maritime Security is one of the composite teams of the ASEAN Security Task Force tasked to conduct regular patrols and surveillance on waters near the venue of the ASEAN summit and other activities.
Angue said that while they have not received any request for clearance on the conduct of fluvial protest parades, reports reached their office that some leftist groups are purportedly preparing 50 bancas for the said purpose.
The Philippine Coast Guard will apprehend all types of vessels spotted sailing on designated No Sail Zones during the international event.
“We will not think twice to apprehend you. Your bancas will be impounded and the banca owners will have to pay penalties,” Angue said.