More cops to secure Duterte's second national address

The Philippine National Police will be deploying more policemen for President Duterte's second State of the Nation Address (Sona) on July 24, as officials note the presence of Islamic State-inspired terrorist groups in the country.

From around 4,000 policemen last year, Director Oscar Albayalde, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), said on Wednesday that they would be deploying around 6,000 policemen for the President's Sona to ensure the safety of the public.

Albayalde, however, pointed out that the NCRPO had to receive any confirmed threat, particularly from the Maute terrorist group who staged attacks and taken hostages in Marawi City more than a month ago.

Speaking at the sidelines Metro Manila Council meeting on Wednesday, Albayalde said that around 17 members of the Maute group had been detained at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.

To ensure that traffic during the Sona would still be manageable, especially around Quezon City, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) would be deploying around 2,000 enforcers.

Authorities will also set aside three lanes on Commonwealth Avenue for the protesters to ensure that traffic flow will not be hampered.

Last year, Albayalde said that protesters occupied the entire northbound lane of Commonwealth Avenue, disrupting the flow of traffic.

To prevent this from happening again, he said the NCRPO had asked the MMDA to set up orange plastic barriers in the area.