‘Be on guard,’ Lorenzana tells ASEAN security teams

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BFP fire trucks spray water of various colors to represent the rainbow colors of ASEAN at Sunday's sendoff rites for the security forces tasked to ensure the safe and orderly hosting of the ASEAN meetings. PHOTO BY JHUN DANTES, INTERAKSYON

MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana urged military and police units tasked to secure the leaders and delegations attending next week’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit to “be on guard” at all times.

“We cannot be very complacent. We should be aware, we should be on guard. Kung pwede lang talagang istrikto ‘yung palakad natin sa security so that walang mangyari (If we can, be very strict with our security measures so that nothing untoward happens),” Lorenzana said on the sidelines of the Department of National Defense’s 78th founding anniversary ceremony Monday even as he stressed that no security threat has been detected so far.

An estimated 60,000 personnel from 21 agencies will be deployed to various ASEAN meeting venues in Metro Manila, Bulacan and Pampanga.

Lorenzana said anything untwoard would lead to a backlash against the Philippines.

“So, it is very important that we should secure the heads of state while (they are) here. Kasi kung may mangyari sa kanila diyan, may bukol sa atin ‘yan e (If something happens to them, we will be liable). It will backfire on us,” he said.