By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

(PNA file photo by Joan Bondoc)

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) continues to fine-tune preparations and has not received information on security threats ahead of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr’s third State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22.

PNP chief Gen. Rommel Francisco Marbil said Friday they are also looking into refinements in traffic management plans to minimize inconvenience to the public.

“‘Yung SONA natin (As for the SONA), we don’t receive any threat but remember, sa sobrang security natin minsan maraming nagagalit because of the inconvenience sa traffic. ‘Yun ang pinag-aaralan natin sana para after ng SONA hindi po mahirapan ‘yung tao going home (Because of excessive security measures, many are angered due to the inconvenience caused by traffic congestion. That’s what we are looking at, so that after the SONA, people will not have a hard time going home),” Marbil told reporters on the sidelines of 2nd PNP Press Corps Invitational Shootfest in Camp Karingal, Quezon City. 

He said there would be designated areas for protests that would be staged by various groups.

“The same, maximum tolerance. There is nothing to worry about, there is no problem, but what I said is they can go on with their protests but make sure they don’t cause inconvenience,” he added.

“It’s the public who is burdened here. It’s a problem created by both the rallyists and the excessive deployment of security forces.”

Article 7, Section 23 of the constitution requires the President to “address the Congress at the opening of its regular session.”

The President delivers the SONA every year, usually held every last Monday of July, to report the state of the country, unveil the administration’s agenda and ask Congress to pass priority measures. 

Marbil also directed police officers to also minimize the inconvenience caused by checkpoints along roads.

He also corrected the impression that motorcycle riders are being singled out.

“I guess it’s more of traffic kaya akala niyo puro mga motor lang pero meron kaming check na mga kotse, hindi niyo lang nakikita (so you think the police only check motorcycles, when in fact we also check cars You just don’t see it),” he said. (PNA)