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MANILA - (UPDATE, 2 p.m.) The Philippine National Police (PNP) went on full alert Sunday a day before President Benigno Aquino III's State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Effective 12 p.m. Sunday, PNP units in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon regions upgraded their alert status to "full," meaning all policemen are required to report for duty with their leaves cancelled.
The upgrading of the alert status was in anticipation of "threat groups, militant and cause-oriented groups that might take advantage of the situation to conduct simultaneous rallies and grievances" during the President's SONA, a memo from the PNP's Directorate for Operation said.
PNP units in Mindanao are also on full-alert status as well as other units such as the Special Action Force (SAF).
Other PNP units in other parts of the country are on heightened alert status.
"All unit commanders are strictly reminded to secure all PNP camps and offices, vital installations, economic key points, and places of convergence of people," the memorandum said.
An estimated 6,000 policemen will be deployed during Aquino's SONA. This is on top of the security contingent from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Other agencies such as the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority
(MMDA) will also deploy their personnel to provide assistance to motorists and civilians during the SONA.
The maximum tolerance policy is in effect provided protesters do not instigate any violent action.
Protesters are only permitted to march up to Ever Gotesco Commonwealth where they are expected to conduct their various programs