NCRPO beefs up security in SEAG basketball, football venues

MANILA As part of measures to secure the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Metro Manila, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) on Monday said it will tighten security particularly in venues of basketball and football games to prevent heated tensions between fans of competing teams.

Basketball games will be held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City while football games will be at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila.

NCRPO chief, Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas, said the security measures were already given to ground commanders to ensure readiness of policemen in securing venues of the two sports.

Security in those areas will be tight as a precautionary measure because we are anticipating the possibility of troubles due to intense competition. We will also be fielding plain-clothes policemen, especially during expected hotly-contested games as part of monitoring and early detection if the situation is becoming intense, he said adding that aside from the regular police presence, anti-riot cops will be put on standby for any eventuality," Sinas said in a statement.

Sinas said that aside from ensuring enough personnel to address riots, there were also measures that would be implemented as a preventive measure.

One of them is the prohibition of carrying things that could be used in harassing players and fans, like soda cans that can be used to throw at players during the games.

Bladed weapons and other deadly materials are prohibited inside the sport venues.

Posters and other cheering materials that contain racist chants and remarks are also prohibited.

Sinas said they reviewed games in the past Southeast Asian Games and other major sports events and they served as inputs on how to effectively secure hotly-contested games.

We are ready for this. We have long prepared for this event and our men know what to do, said Sinas.

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.

For his part, PNP spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, said full alert status has been placed in Metro Manila and nearby two regions on Monday as part of the security measures for the biennial sports event.

Aside from Metro Manila, also placed under full alert status are police forces in Central Luzon and Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon).

Banac said the full alert status took effect at 8 a.m. on Monday morning and will last until December 14.

National Support Units like the Highway Patrol Group, Special Action Force and Maritime Group were also placed under full alert.

"All police regional offices and national administrative units will be on heightened alert status," Banac told reporters in a press briefing held at Camp Crame.

Full alert means suspension of all leaves and days-off to ensure availability of all police personnel while heightened alert mandates that at least 50 percent of policemen must be present and ready for deployment.

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.

Over 27,000 policemen will be deployed in sports venues and billeting areas of athletes and other delegates for the SEA Games.

Among the deployment were from the HPG which will deploy 101 motorcycle-riding cops and mobile units to secure roads and ease traffic.

Several games will also be held in Central Luzon and Calabarzon

Athletes and other delegates started arriving in the country over the weekend.

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