THE United States (US) Embassy in Roxas Boulevard turned into a virtual fortress on Thursday in preparation for any eventuality that may arise from the convergence of various cause-oriented groups and people organizations at the Luneta Park.
Stationed in front, across and at the side of the Embassy were some 1,000 policemen from different cities and municipalities of the National Capital Region.
Authorities were tasked to secure the premises of the consular office and also as reserve force if something would happen in the nearby convergence point of the rallyists.
The stage where the anti-Duterte protesters will conduct their program is about 300 meters away from the US Embassy.
Police Superintendent Restituto Archangel, leader of PNP-Manila’s contingent, said that more policemen would be arriving.
“But we will only serve as reserve force. We will assist our comrades if needed,” Arcanghel told The Manila Times.
Except for a few members of SWAT team, the others were unarmed.
A team of crowd dispersal unit with helmets and shields were also at the vicinity.
Ambulances and fire trucks were also stationed at the side of the gate of the embassy.
Nearby were also 14 service trucks of the PNP.
President Duterte instructed the PNP to keep its distance from the rallyists and exercise maximum tolerance.
The President said that the protesters were free to dramatize their grievances against the government but also warned them against inciting violence, vandalism and not to destroy properties, and other criminal acts.