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Eleazar: 6,000 cops, soldiers to secure Batasan

By: Betheena Kae Unite

About 6,000 soldiers and policemen will be deployed to secure the Batasang Pambansa complex in Quezon City during the second State-of-Nation-Address of President Duterte on July 24, Chief Supt. Guillermo Eleazar, Quezon City Police District director, said yesterday.

Eleazar said the deployment will be adequate to secure the venue as they expect at least 15,000 protesters to march until the south gate of the House of the Representatives.

The total number of deployment, however, is lower than last year’s 8,000, Eleazar said.

He disclosed that they are monitoring possible threats but have no validated information yet.

The QCPD chief said that parking will be prohibited on IBP Road to maximize the protest area. Vehicles will only be allowed until Commonwealth Ave.

There will also be designated parking areas for policemen, media, and protesters.

Since there will be no road closures, the IBP Road and Commonwealth Ave. will be divided for rallyists and motorists to ensure flow of traffic, he said.

National Capital Region Police Office director Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde said that policemen will not be armed with vests, shields, or batons during the SoNA to avoid intimidating the militants and observe maximum tolerance.

Albayalde said the move will also prevent any violent acts during the annual address.

“But while we respect freedom of speech, we still have to subscribe with the laws of the land,” Albayalde said.

The QCPD traffic unit released four different alternate routes for motorists going to Commonwealth Ave. during the SoNA.

Vehicles coming from EDSA take Congressional Ave., left to Mindanao Ave., right to Old Sauyo Road, left to Chestnut, right to Dahlia, left to Fairlane, and left to Commonwealth Ave.

Vehicles from Quezon Memorial Circle via North Ave. turn right to Mindanao Ave., right to Old Sauyo Road, left to Chestnut, right to Dahlia, left to Fairlane, and left to Commonwealth Ave.

Vehicles from the Quezon Memorial Circle via Visayas Ave. turn left to Tandang Sora Ave., right to Mindanao Ave., right to Old Sauyo Road, left to Chestnut, right to Dahlia, left to Fairlane, and left to Commonwealth Ave.

Vehicles on the southbound lane of Commonwealth Ave. turn right to Fairlane, right to Dahlia, left to Chestnut, right to Old Sauyo Road, and left to Mindanao Ave. to point of destination.

The Department of Public Works and Highways said maintenance works in some roads in Quezon City are now underway in preparation for the SoNA.

Maintenance works include the repainting of road pavements, road markings, and even trimming of grasses on the center islands, DPWH-National Capital Region Director Melvin Navarro said.

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