SECURITY. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar (right), then the National Capital Region Police director, leads the security force during the 2019 State of the Nation Address. The Philippine National Police chief said about 15,000 cops will be deployed on July 26, 2021 when President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his final SONA. (PNA file photo)

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) will deploy about 15,000 officers to secure President Rodrigo Duterte’s final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 26.

In a statement on Saturday, PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said the National Capital Region Police (NCRPO) under Maj. Gen. Vicente Danao is preparing for the event at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.

Eleazar led SONA security in 2016 and 2017 as Task Group Quezon Commander and in 2018 and 2019 as NCRPO director and head of the Security Task Force.

Amid the pandemic and the threat of the Delta variant, Eleazar urged groups planning to hold mass actions to protect their health.

“We encourage these groups planning to conduct mass actions to coordinate their activities with the PNP. But it would be better if they conduct their activities virtually as this is safer for all those involved," he said.

The House of Representatives previously said between 150 to 200 may be allowed to personally witness the SONA but they must undergo Covid-19 tests.

The plan to require full vaccination is also being discussed. (PNA)