PNP prepares for Marcos SONA




The Manila Times


WITH A FEW WEEKS BEFORE THE fiRST State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. slated this month, the Philippine National Police (PNP) had started making security preparations at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City. MGen. Valeriano de Leon, director for Operations of the PNP, said on Sunday they want to come up with the security plan in order to cover every situation outside and inside the Batasang Pambansa, where President Marcos will deliver his speech to reveal his plan for the country. Banking on the success of the security during the May 9, 2022 national and local elections, which were declared as the most peaceful and the fastest, as well as the inaugurations of Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio and Marcos, de Leon expressed confidence that it would be the same for the SONA. “We want to prepare as early as possible so that we can have the best security measures for the SONA. We want to come up with a good template, a good security plan that we will present to our PNP officer in charge, Police LtGen. Vicente Danao Jr., for review and approval,” he said. Security preparations for SONA are a yearly activity, and the PNP will bank on the successful SONAs in the past to ensure that there will be no security glitches. “Year in, year out, we are preparing for SONA, so we are now reviewing all the security plans before, and we will adopt the best practices before and make the necessary adjustments based on the lessons we learned from the past,” de Leon said. “For this year, I will personally supervise the preparations to come up with the best security plans that will be implemented for the first SONA of President Bongbong Marcos,” he added. Part of the planning, according to de Leon, is how the PNP will deal with the protesters. This early, he said they are recommending the freedom parks for protesters where they can peacefully hold their programs. This plan was found to be successful during the inauguration of President Marcos on June 30 at the National Museum. “We respect the role of the protesters in what they would do, but your PNP will not allow them to disrupt any activities that include causing trouble and creating traffic on any busy roads in Metro Manila,” said de Leon. “We will have freedom parks for them, and just like what happened during the inauguration, we will not disturb their program, and we will not even ask for any permit for their activity provided that they do not go out of the designated freedom parks,” he added. De Leon also appealed to the militant groups and individuals to avoid unnecessary confrontation with the police and disruption of regular activities. “Let us show to the world the kind of political maturity that we have and that we are all looking forward to a better country,” he said.