MANILA police assured the safety of the public on Sept. 21, the 45th anniversary of the declaration of martial law by the late president Ferdinand Marcos, in anticipation of anti-government protests on that day.
Supt. Erwin Margarejo, spokesman for the Manila Police District (MPD), said was still determining the number of protesters to determine how many policemen would be deployed.
“We have to deploy at least the same number of protesters so we could contain them,” he told reporters in a press conference at the MPD headquarters.
Protesters are expected to turn up at the Rizal Park and nearby open spaces like the Liwasang Bonifacio, Lawton fronting the Post Office, and Mendiola now Roces Bridge, at the U-belt area on Recto Avenue and Legarda Avenue.
Coronel said there were no reports of any serious security threats on Thursday.
“None so far. In fact, as announced by the President, he will allow these rallies and recognize the right of the people and the public to express their grievances,” said Coronel in an interview.
Coronel also said there would be no additional security for Malacanang on Thursday, except for the usual security protocol on occasions like this.
“There will only be normal security deployment (in Malacanang during September 21), with the PSG (Presidential Security Group) and the MPD,” he said.
“We will just maintain our alert status, a full alert status. And most likely the access roads leading to and from Malacanang will be closed and redirected. And only authorized will be allowed,” he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared Sept. 21 as National Protest Day, suspending classes and work in government offices. He clarified, however, that this was not a holiday. JIM PILAPIL