PH on highest alert status nationwide for Apec

Inquirer November 15,2015 - 12:07 PM
APEC PREPARATIONS/NOV.14,2015 PNP anti-riot police practice for the APEC as they guard the premises outside the Sofitel where US President Barrack Obama will stay. INQUIRER PHOTO/RAFFY LERMA

Anti-riot police guard the premises outside the Sofitel where US President Barrack Obama will stay. (INQUIRER)

As planned, security forces nationwide were placed on their highest alert levels yesterday morning in preparation for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Metro Manila next week.

The APEC security task force, led by the Philippine National Police (PNP), has also assured that they will further “upgrade”  security for the international delegates following a series of terrorist attacks in Paris, France.
PNP Director General Ricardo Marquez announced yesterday morning that all PNP units nationwide  have been placed under full alert — which means all personnel will be on duty — in support of the full alert status already in effect since Thursday in Metro Manila for the APEC.
PNP and APEC security task force spokesman Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor explained the nationwide alert upgrade as a means to “strengthen the peripheries” of Metro Manila, as well as a “routine procedure under similar situations involving international security concerns.”
Following the Paris terror attacks, PNP director for operations Jonathan Miano assured that there has been no monitored threat to the APEC from any terrorist groups.
“[Police] intelligence have been gathering information since six months ago nationwide to see indication of threats to the APEC delegates. So far, there’s none,” Miano said, in a press briefing yesterday at the APEC security task force’s multi-agency coordination center in One Esplanade in Pasay.
However, Mayor assured, in a statement: “Although we have not monitored any specific or direct threat in our homefront…target hardening measures on vital installations, particularly seaports, airports and our rail systems have been further elevated to maximize deterrence against unforeseen events.
“At present, security forces are saturated in Metro Manila beyond the regular deployment scale because of the ongoing APEC event. This should add to the peace of mind and level of confidence of our people and heighten optimism for a fruitful and uneventful APEC  2015 Summit,” Mayor said.
Miano said that more than 32,000 personnel from various agencies have been deployed under the APEC security task group.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), under the APEC security task group, also announced yesterday morning that it raised its alert level from blue to red in preparation for the hosting of the APEC.
In a statement, however, the AFP said it raised its alert status a day ahead of schedule “as a matter of procedure following any international terrorist incident such as this morning’s terrorist attack in Paris.”
Extending condolences to the victims of the attacks, AFP spokesperson Col. Restituto Padilla assured that “Philippine APEC security planners are now seriously looking into this incident to ensure our security preparation are appropriately upgraded.”

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TAGS: APEC, PNP, US President Barrack Obama

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