The Philippine National Police (PNP) will deploy 1,850 policemen to maintain peace and order at the 32nd commemoration of the EDSA People Power Revolution on February 25.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) also announced the partial closure of a portion of Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) and White Plains Drive from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. on Sunday.
PNP chief Ronald “Bato” De la Ros said the policemen will be deployed at the People Power monument for traffic management, emergencies, security and other public safety services.
PNP spokesmen John Bulalacao said majority of the deployed lawmen will be coming from the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).
Out of 1,850 policemen, 300 will take part in “Salubungan,” the reenactment of the united stand of Filipinos to oust former dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
There will also be a Holy Mass at Our Lady of EDSA shrine in Ortigas; medical, dental, and optical services, a job fair, and wreath-laying ceremony at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Bulalacao said they are expecting rallies before or after the commemoration activities.
He reminded the protesters not to stage their rally while the activities are being held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. or policemen will disperse them.
“If they are planning to disrupt the actvities, we have plans of our own but it should not reach them,” Bulalacao said in a press briefing on Friday afternoon.
There are no intelligence reports about an impending security threat during the EDSA anniversary, he said.
He also reminded everyone who will join the activities to refrain from wearing backpacks for security purposes.
On February 25, 1986, the 20-year rule of Marcos ended after a peaceful three-day revolution in EDSA that gathered more than two million protesters.
Portion of EDSA closed
In its traffic management plan, the MMDA said Ortigas Avenue to Santolan (northbound) will be partially closed from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. on Sunday.
Two outer lanes will be closed to vehicular traffic while three inner lanes from the EDSA-Ortigas flyover will still be passable to motorists up to the Aguinaldo gate.
Meanwhile, both directions of White Plains Drive, from Temple Drive to EDSA, will be totally closed to traffic from 12:01 a.m. onwards.
The National Historical Commission of the Philippines under Executive Director Ludovico Badoy will lead the organization and implementation of the commemorative activities for the EDSA anniversary of the People Power Revolution.
This year’s theme is “EDSA 2018: Effecting Change Towards Strengthened Democracy.”
For a day, White Plains Drive will be used as venue for medical, dental and optical services such as free eye check-up and reading glasses.
A Diskwento Caravan will also be put up where the public can enjoy food items, indigenous products and leather goods at discounted prices.
Affected motorists are advised to avoid the said areas and instead use following 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.
Jojo Garcia, Acting MMDA general manager, said at a press briefing on Friday that least 150 traffic enforcers will be deployed to man traffic in the busy thoroughfares.
The traffic enforcers are also tasked to guide motorists traversing the alternate routes and supervise the traffic management plan to sustain the unimpeded flow of vehicles.
with JAMES KONSTANTIN GALVEZ