40k troops to thwart terror threats to Asean summit
MANILA — The government will deploy 40,000 security and emergency personnel to thwart terror threats to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in Manila this coming week, according to government officials.
Ambassador Marciano A. Paynor Jr., director general for operations of the Asean 2017 National Organizing Council, said the government did not want a repeat of the terror attacks in Western capitals in recent years to happen in Manila during the regional summit.
“We can no longer consider only domestic security issues. As we all know, European capitals — London, Paris, Brussels — they all have had very serious terrorists attacks,” Paynor said.
“We have been lucky thus far. We would not want any of these things happening here, especially if we have guests and especially as we are hosting these Asean meetings throughout the year,” he said.
Undersecretary Catalino Cuy, the officer in charge of the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG), said they have not monitored any specific threat so far against the summit.
“There is no specific threat but we are paid to be paranoid. In our preparations, we consider all possible threats to activities,” Cuy said.
Paynor noted that the summit, which would be attended by the leaders of of the nine Asean-member countries, would be the 56th of the 139 meetings scheduled for this year.
“As we said earlier, this is only meeting number 56. There are a total of 139 meetings, so we have two-thirds more to come and every single one of these meetings we treat the same,” he added.
Paynor, Philippine National Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa, and Interior Undersecretary Catalino Cuy spoke Sunday morning at the Luneta before 9,000 policemen, soldiers and emergency personnel who will secure the summit.
Around 2,000 Asean delegates will attend the summit in Manila, according to Paynor. SFM/rga
Marciano Paynor Jr.
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