THE Philippine National Police (PNP) assured the public on Saturday that it was “100 percent ready” for the celebration of the 32nd anniversary of the first Edsa People Power Revolution, an official said.
“Police abound in the vicinity of the engagement areas,” Chief Supt. John Bulalacao said in a text message.
“Everything has been laid down since [Friday] unless a situation would arise,” the spokesman said.
The PNP deployed a total of 1,850 policemen to maintain peace and order during the activities for the commemoration of the “bloodless” revolution that ended the 20-year dictatorship of then president Ferdinand Marcos.
Of the total, 300 will be part of the “Salubungan” or the reenactment of the union of the people and soldiers, led by then Philippine Constabulary chief Fidel Ramos and former Defense secretary Juan Ponce Enrile, on Edsa.
PNP Chief Ronald “Bato” De la Rosa said in a statement that policemen would also be deployed at the People Power Monument also along Edsa.
The 32nd Anniversary of Edsa People Power Revolution will carry the theme “EDSA 2018: Effecting Change Towards Strengthened Democracy”.
A Holy Mass will be celebrated at the Our Lady of Edsa Shrine in Ortigas at 7:30 a.m.
A commemorative program will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. with former president Ramos as guest of honor.
There will be a job fair from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and free medical, dental, and optical services from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Quezon City Hall.
A “Diskwento Caravan” offering food, indigenous products, and leather goods at discounted prices will be set up from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. along White Plains Drive.
Bulalacao reminded protesters to hold their rallies before or after the program or they would be dispersed.
He also warned against bringing backpacks for security purposes.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced that a portion of Edsa and White Plains Drive would be closed from 12 midnight to 6 a.m.
Affected motorists are advised to use alternate routes:
Along EDSA-southbound: turn right to Aurora Boulevard then left to Gilmore or Ortigas; right to Edsa to destination then right turn to Katipunan or Libis-C5 Road to destination.
Along EDSA-norhtbound: make a right turn to Kalayaan/Shaw Boulevard/Ortigas, left turn to C5 Road to destination or left turn to Ortigas towards Greenhills, right turn to Santolan to destination then right turn to Ortigas or left Ortigas flyover towards Greenhills, right turn to destination.
At least 150 traffic enforces will be deployed to guide motorists to the alternate routes and supervise traffic, according to acting MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia.
More than a million Filipinos gathered in Edsa from February 22-25, 1986 in what the world has come to know as “People Power,” a bloodless revolt that ended the 20-year rule of then president Ferdinand Marcos and catapulted Corazon Aquino, widow of martyred senator Benigno Aquino Jr., to the presidency. ROY NARRA