MANILA – The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said it will deploy a mobile jail near the venue of the inauguration of President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. to deter rowdy protesters.
“Within the vicinity of the (inauguration) venue, we will put a bus of the BJMP (Bureau of Jail Management and Penology) in case the need arises. Doon natin ilalagay yung mga nagiging unruly kung meron man pangyayaring ganun (We will put there those unruly protesters if needed),” NCRPO chief, Maj. Gen. Felipe Natividad said in a press briefing at Camp Crame on Tuesday.
The measure is part of security preparations for Thursday's inauguration rites at the National Museum of the Philippines, which he described as now "complete".
While recognizing their right to peaceful assembly, Natividad discouraged protesters from using effigies for their mass actions.
“If ever, in whatever manner they would want to embarrass the new president, we already have contingency plans for that," he said in mixed English and Filipino.
Some 18,339 personnel from the Joint Task Force-National Capital Region, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Department of Health, and force multipliers will be deployed in different areas during the inauguration.
Manila Police District director Brig. Gen. Leo Francisco advised protesters to go to designated freedom parks such as Plaza Miranda, Plaza Dilao, Plaza Moriones, and Liwasang Bonifacio.
Francisco reiterated that the city of Manila has an existing “No Permit, No Rally” ordinance, and Batas Pambansa 880, or the Public Assembly Act of 1985, provides that mass activists may only gather without permits at government-designated freedom parks.
He added that any group that wishes to proceed with their planned actions will have to adhere to minimum public health standards.
Military, civic parades set
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, meanwhile, said the inauguration rites will be simple which will feature military and civic parades to be followed by the oath-taking and inauguration speech of Marcos.
“More or less, it will take only two hours which may start at around 10:50 a.m. and we expect the oath-taking at exactly 12 noon and after the speech, the event is done. So very simple and meaningful," Año said.
He said a screening area for VIPs is set up at the Philippine International Convention Center where they will be allowed to park their vehicles.
“Their security escorts will be left there. We have 60 buses to pick them up and after the event, they will be taken there to the drop-off point near the National Museum. They will usher them to their seats,” he added.
All vehicles approaching the immediate vicinity leading to the National Museum will be subject to thorough inspection by the PNP.
Only persons on the guest list with confirmed attendance will be allowed access to the premises.
Guests including the working staff of the inauguration will be thoroughly checked upon entry.
Backpacks and big bags, pointed objects, alcoholic drinks and cigarettes, chemicals, fireworks and pyrotechnics, combustible items and drones will not be allowed inside the inauguration venue.
The golf course in front of the National Museum will be designated as a viewing area for supporters where big LED television sets will be set up. (PNA)