PNP aims for ‘zero incidents’ during SEA Games

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MANILA A week before the country's hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge, Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa on Thursday said they are targeting zero incidents during the regional sports event.

Gamboa said a total of 17,734 security personnel from several law enforcement agencies of the government will be deployed in Metro Manila alone where several games will be held and athletes from Asean-member states will be billeted.

This international event will be another opportunity for all of us especially in the law enforcement sector to showcase our best practices in planning and managing sport events at par with world-class standards, Gamboa said during the send-off ceremony for the National Capital Region Police Office personnel and force multipliers who will secure the SEA Games at the NCRPO headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.

The government has created a task force led by the PNP to ensure security and peace and order during before and after the 30th SEAG.

Other members of the task force include the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Office of the Civil Defense, Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and local government units (LGUs) and other concerned government agencies.

Gamboa assured the public that peace and order in the community would still be maintained by the police as he instructs regional police chiefs to keep an eye on criminals who may take advantage of the event.

The conduct of SEA Games would not be a reason for us to relax and we expect a lot of criminals to take advantage, syempre andyan din 'yung mga (because there is presence of) delegates to go around to visit our tourist spots, they will go around the cities to explore the Philippines so all of these things are in place in terms of security and order, Gamboa said.

Authorities said the bulk of the over 17,000 personnel would be deployed next week.

Gamboa said there is no imminent threat that was monitored for the regional sports event.

But the evaluation continues. We do not stop evaluating, Gamboa told reporters in a press conference.

Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr., functional area director for Games Security and Safety of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee, ensured that authorities and involved agencies are fully ready for the SEA Games when it comes to security preparedness.

We call it good to go ... that's why we are gathering our forces, sending them off, Catapang said.

Last week, the PNP announced the suspension of all Permits to Carry Firearms Outside Residence (PTCFOR) in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and the province of La Union from November 20 to December 14.

Gamboa clarified that only members of the PNP, Armed Forces of the Philippines and other law enforcement agencies bestowed with official duties and functions for the SEA Games are allowed to carry firearms in these regions.

Personalities, who are in agency-prescribed uniforms and participants of the SEA Games Shooting Competitions, are also exempted from the suspension of PTCFOR.

Over 10,000 athletes from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Timor Leste, Singapore, and Vietnam will participate in 543 sports events. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency