The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said there are no plans to jam mobile phone signals during the inauguration of President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. today.
Balloons, however, will not be allowed in the venue as these “may create fear in case they accidentally pop,” the Manila Police District said.
Police likewise warned protesters not to hold demonstrations outside designated freedom parks, saying they would be met with a “corresponding police response.”
“It just depends on the situation but for now, there are no plans to shut down the mobile signal. We have not really monitored an actual threat but our actions will depend on the developments until tomorrow,” outgoing DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said.
He said “all hands are on deck” to ensure the peaceful and orderly conduct of Marcos’ inauguration.
“We have prepared for this and we will execute all protocols as planned for the success of this historic occasion,” he added.
Año said the Philippine National Police (PNP) activated its Task Force Manila Shield with more than 18,000 police officers, soldiers, Coast Guard personnel, and other force multipliers to be deployed and on stand-by across Metro Manila.
Checkpoints and chokepoints were also set up in all entry points of Manila starting Tuesday, with a gun ban also in effect in Metro Manila from June 27 to July 2.
The director for operations of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Maj. Gen. Valeriano de Leon, said protesters can only stay inside Liwasang Bonifacio, Plaza Miranda, Plaza Moriones, and Plaza Dilaw—the four designated freedom parks.
“We all know the world is watching us. And we would like to showcase how orderly and how disciplined Filipinos are,” he said in Filipino.
The Manila Police District announced on Wednesday it will conduct law enforcement checkpoints within the city limits for the inauguration on Thursday at the National Museum.
Starting Sunday, the MPD started conducting random checkpoints in various streets and areas around Manila.
MPD spokesman Maj. Philipp Ines said the MPD is now ready for the inauguration.
“We are all systems go and we are continuously checking to make sure all security measures are in place. In MPD, we will deploy about 5,000 personnel for the event,” he said.
Ines also reminded those who will attend the inauguration that jackets are not allowed and backpacks are discouraged.
“Please wear a face mask. If you need to bring bags or backpacks, it should be transparent,” he said.
Protesters were also warned that burning of effigies, obstruction of traffic flow, and destroying government and private equipment may be reasons for their arrest.
People attending the inauguration may enter the venue from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., Ines said, with Victoria and General Luna streets open to the public heading to the National Museum in those hours.
He said these streets will be closed at 9 a.m.
Marcos supporters will be asked to view the ceremonies at the golf course in Intramuros in front of the National Museum, which can hold around 25,000 to 30,000 people.
About 1,500 VIPs are also expected to attend Marcos’s oath taking as the 17th Philippine president.
Some will be seated above the podium of the museum, while others will be seated on a lane along Padre Burgos Avenue.
PNP Officer-in-Charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao called on the participants and attendees of the inauguration to remain calm and continue to cooperate with the police to make it peaceful and safe.
Also on Wednesday, the Office of Civil Defense activated its National Incident Management Team at Rizal Park Open Air Auditorium to secure Thursday’s inauguration rites.
OCD deputy administrator for operations, Assistant Secretary Bernardo Rafaelito Alejandro led the deployment of personnel who will help in monitoring and coordinating for emergency preparedness during the event.
Several groups announced last week that they will hold demonstrations during the inauguration.
Renato Reyes Jr., secretary-general of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), said that the demonstration will be held at the Liwasang Bonifacio (Bonifacio Square) in Manila starting 9 a.m.
Reyes said that since the venue is a freedom park, the groups do not need to secure a permit from the local government to conduct the demonstration.