DILG: Security cluster ‘100% ready’ for Bongbong Marcos inaugural

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has assured the public that the security cluster is very ready to secure the inauguration rites of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday, with over 15,000 personnel from different offices deployed for the event.

During Tuesday’s press briefing headed by DILG and the Philippine National Police (PNP), Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said it is all systems go for the entire Subcommittee on Security, Traffic, and Communication of the Presidential Transition Committee, which is tasked to secure the area surrounding National Museum for Marcos’ oath-taking.

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Año said PNP has also activated Task Force Manila Shield to prevent any untoward incident during the inauguration.  The DILG chief said 15,000 officers will be deployed, while PNP deputy chief for administration Lt. Gen. Rhodel Sermonia said the entire task force strength would be around 18,000.

“With the [PNP], Bureau of Fire Protection, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Department of Information and Communication Technology, and Metro Manila Development Authority, the sub-committee will ensure the peaceful, orderly, and meaningful conduct of the historic inauguration ceremony of President-elect Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr.,” Año told reporters in Camp Crame.

“With only two days before the inauguration, the subcommittee can proudly declare that we are all systems go in terms of security preparations.  The PNP has activated its Task Force Manila Shield, and more than 15,000 police officers, soldiers, Coast Guard personnel and other force multipliers will be deployed and on-standby across Metro Manila,” he added.

Sermonia said the PNP organization is confident about their security measures, even as they expect rallies against the President-elect to occur in freedom parks.

According to the PNP’s top two officials, they welcome protests as it is a form of free speech but are reminded that these movements should not cause violence and disorder.

“Nakalatag na, confident kami na in-place na lahat ang ating mga security coverage, ito ‘yong tinatwag nating Task Force Manila Shield with 18,000 personnel na gagamitin po natin.  We do expect that there would be an expression of sentiments coming from the pro or probably from against, na mga different groups na ito,” Sermonia said.

(It is all laid out. We are confident that everything is all in place, the security coverage and this is called Task Force Manila Shield.0

“But we welcome them because that’s an expression of sentiments, freedom of expression.  So we welcome them as long as wala silang gagawin na kaguluhan at karahasan [as long as they don’t do anything violent].  Pero nakahanda po ang inyong kapulisan para i-address po ‘yong mga aktibidades na ito,” he added.

Securing Marcos’ inauguration has been talked about for weeks now, after DILG spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya confirmed that they have received reports about groups, particularly from the side of communists, plotting to disrupt or embarrass the President-elect’s oath-taking.

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READ: DILG confirms intel on plan to disrupt Bongbong Marcos inauguration 

On Monday, PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. again discouraged protesters from staging rallies on the inauguration of Marcos, stressing that they are not out to suppress free speech.