WATCH | Colorful send-off held for govt teams with grim task of securing ASEAN

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MANILA – The Philippine government held colorful send-off rites Sunday morning at Quirino Grandstand for various law enforcement agencies deployed as security forces for the April 26-29 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.

As the Philippine Air Force flew two of its jets, the centerpiece of the rites on the ground was a colorful improvised fountain by the Bureau of Fire Protection. Colored water symbolizing the various colors of the ASEAN sprang from BFP water cannons while the ASEAN banner was raised.

Sirens blared from the patrol cars of the Philippine National Police.

The send-off was led by PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa and Armed Forces chief of staff Eduardo M. Año.

Some 9,000 security response troops attended the send-off ceremony, according to the National Capital Region Police Office.

They are part of the 26,000 uniformed security forces
from the AFP and PNP, and the 15,000 force multipliers from 21 agencies tasked with ensuring peace and security at the ASEAN events to be held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City from April 27-29.

Also joining the send-off, two Philippine Navy boats – BRB Malabrigo and BRB Pampanga – conducted patrols at Manila Bay as part of the Task Force Maritime for ASEAN.

More than 10 aluminum and rubber boats also patrolled Manila Bay as part of the security patrols of the Coast Guard, which deployed 200 men.

In his speech, PNP chief dela Rosa asked the police to do their work with utmost diligence and due regard for public safety. The goal is zero casualty and zero incident for all days of ASEAN meetings in Pasay City, he said.

On April 26, certain streets leading to PICC will be closed and a security lockdown in place.

41,000 security forces

In all, around 41,000 security forces and force multipliers are ready to secure the 30th ASEAN Summit from Wednesday to Saturday (April 26 to 29) at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City, officials said.

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Director Oscar Albayalde said around 26,000 uniformed policemen and soldiers and about 15,000 force multipliers from different government agencies will be deployed for the ASEAN Summit.

Albayalde assured the public they are very ready to ensure the safety and security of all the state leaders and their delegates who will attend the summit.

Authorities have not monitored any threats to the ASEAN Summit, Albayalde also said.

“Augmentation forces” were also sent from Regions 1 (Ilocos Region), 3 (Central Luzon) and 4 (Calabarzon).

The “no fly zone” and “no sail zone” will also be implemented during the duration of the summit.

PNP Public Information Office (PIO) chief and spokesman Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos said the send-off ceremony was to show the readiness of security forces in providing security.

Likewise, the PNP Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) is ready to deploy 426 personnel to provide security to the convoy of heads of states.