Philippines heightens security for Asean summit

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa placed the entire 165,000-strong police force on "full-alert" status effective Monday for the 30th Association Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit to be held from April 26-29, 2017 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City. The main ASEAN leaders' meeting will be conducted on April 29. "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. "In our preparations, we consider all possible threats to activities", Cuy said. All the nine leaders of the ASEAN are anticipated to attend.

The government previously announced work suspension in parts of Metro Manila on April 27 and 28 due to the ASEAN summit and related meetings.

President Rodrigo Duterte will be the keynote speaker and will be joined by leaders from government, business, academe and civil society during the 14th ASEAN Leadership Forum at Manila Hotel on April 28, 2017.

Duterte, at the launching of the country's ASEAN chairmanship last January, said the regional bloc should work together to make Southeast Asia a region that promotes and maintains peace, security, and stability.

"In this journey, I call on all ASEAN's Dialogue Partners to be unwavering in your support for the ASEAN's continued development and for its important role in the region's security, stability, and growth", he said. Under Article 20 (4) of the Charter, the ASEAN Summit may on such occasions meet and take action.

Albayalde on Sunday said security in Metro Manila is so tight that not even the Maute Group, a local terror group, has the capacity to attack the summit.

Duterte has also called on the ASEAN dialogue partners, including the United States, China, and Russian Federation, not to meddle with the affairs of the regional bloc.

"The President looks forward to meeting His Majesty the Sultan and President Widodo, respectively, to build on the gains achieved during President Duterte's visits to Bandar Seri Begawan and Jakarta", Abella added.

  • Leroy Wright