By Martin Sadongdong
The Philippine National Police (PNP) said today that no protests will be allowed during the 32nd commemoration activities of the EDSA People Power Revolution on Sunday at the EDSA People Power monument in Quezon City.
Chief Supt. John Bulalacao, PNP spokesperson, said they have coordinated with the local government unit of Quezon City in ensuring that no protests will be approved and conducted during the EDSA commemoration activities from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. The theme for this year’s commemoration is “EDSA 2018: Effecting Change Towards Strengthened Democracy.”
“During the celebration, wala kaming pinayagan na mag-conduct ng rally dahil siguradong makakagulo iyan but after and even before pwede naman (During the celebration, we did not allow any [group] to conduct a rally because for sure it will disturb [the activities] but after and even before, we allowed it),” Bulalacao told reporters.
“In fact, ‘yung isang na-aprove (one of the approved groups) will be holding their rally near the People Power monument right after the celebration,” he added.
However, if protesters decide to stage a rally while the activities are ongoing, Bulalacao said the troops will be ready to contain them while observing maximum tolerance.
Bulalacao said PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa has ordered for the deployment of 1,850 cops to ensure the security coverage, traffic management, emergency preparedness and response, and other public safety services during the commemoration activities.
Of the 1,850, about 300 cops will be assigned to take part of the “Salubungan” activity, or the reenactment of the union of the people in the ouster of former President Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.
“We have a contingency plan, including the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) if, for example, the rallyists try to stage a protest while the commemoration activities are ongoing but we will not divulge it to the public. They might prepare a counter-attack but our troops are ready to face them in case they insist on disturbing the activities,” Bulalacao said.
No threats yet
No threats in Metro Manila have also been monitored yet by the PNP’s Intelligence Unit, Bulalacao assured, but it doesn’t mean that the national police are not on a full alert status.
“We must be always prepared and the police deployed to secure the event were properly briefed of their tasks and assignments,” he added.
Bulalacao said some top officials are expected to attend the celebration such as Cabinet secretaries, members of the EDSA People Power Commission, local chief executives, foreign dignitaries, and other chiefs of offices of various government and non-government agencies.
Aside from the primary commemoration activities at the EDSA People Power monument, Bulalacao stated that other activities will also be organized in other parts of the country including a Holy Mass at the Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace, Our Lady of EDSA in Ortigas, Pasig City; a Diskwento Caravan of the Department of Trade and Industry; a wreath-laying ceremony at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City; job fairs; and medical, dental and optical services.