A total of 13,000 policemen have been deployed to areas in Metro Manila where the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (Asean) meetings will be held this weekend, to secure hundreds of foreign diplomats.
Director Oscar Albayalde, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), however said there were no credible security threats from any terrorist group.
The Asean meetings, which will gather 27 foreign ministers in marking the 10-nation bloc’s 50th anniversary and for a regional security forum, will start today and end on August 8.
The main venue is the Philippine International Convention Center at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex in Manila.
Code of conduct
Asean countries and China are set to agree on a “framework” of a code of conduct, which the parties said would not be “an instrument to settle territorial disputes or maritime delimitation issues.”
The final draft of the document, obtained by The Manila Times on Thursday, emphasizes a code that is “rules-based,” with “a set of norms to guide the parties and promote maritime cooperation” in disputed waters.
Asean and China also agreed to “ensure maritime security and safety and freedom of navigation and overflight.”
They also emphasized “respect for each other’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity in accordance with international law, and the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states.”
The framework is expected to be endorsed by Southeast Asian foreign ministers later this week.
The document emphasized “commitment to the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea,” signed by Asean and China in 2002.
The Philippines is the chairman of this year’s Asean meetings, which have the theme “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World.”
with CATHERINE S. VALENTE