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(Updated 3:06 p.m.) Both the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) have stepped up its security preparations for the planned Labor Day protests of militant groups on Tuesday, May 1.
Police units in Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Central Luzon, Bicol region and other parts of Visayas were placed on full alert status effective 8 a.m. Monday, said Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz Jr., chief of the PNP Police Community Relations Group.
Mindanao and elite police forces remain on full alert while other parts of Luzon are on heightened alert, said PNP spokesman Sr. Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr.
"All unit commanders are strictly reminded to secure all PNP camps and offices, vital installations, economic key points, and places of convergence of people and are given the discretion to upgrade their alert level based on the prevailing peace and order situation in their respective AORs (areas of responsibility)," Cruz said.
Meanwhile, the AFP announced a "robust and intensified" security preparation not only for the protests but also for the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) annual meeting from May 2 to 5.
AFP spokesman Col. Arnulfo Burgos said it will deploy K9 and Explosive and Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams from the Philippine Army, Philippine Air Force, Philippine Navy and the General Headquarters and Headquarters Support Command (GHQ-HSC) to augment “heightened preparations” already set in place by the PNP National Capital Region Police Office.
The “preemptive and proactive preparations” will also include the deployment of four civil disturbance management companies from the Major Services and the GHQ-HSC that are on stand-by alert to respond upon request of the PNP.
The AFP will also provide extensive intelligence support to the PNP Task Group Manila with covert security monitoring on ground and of all threat groups, Burgos said.
This developed as Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo appealed to all militant groups to "secure their ranks" to avoid unruly incidents from occurring during the protests.
“While we recognize the Labor Day protesters’ right to air their grievances against the government, it is also their duty to maintain peace and order and to be vigilant against saboteurs who may infiltrate them, and provoke and instigate violence among their ranks during the rallies,” Robredo said.
Robredo urged policemen to exercise maximum tolerance and to respect human rights at all times.