Security tightened in forthcoming APEC meeting in Manila

MANILA, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) — Security measures in Manila, especially around the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting venues, were tightened on Saturday following terror attacks in Paris that killed at least 153 people.

Colonel Restituto Padilla,spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines upgraded their alert status from “Blue” to “Red” in preparation for the hosting of APEC 2015.

The alert status was raised a day ahead of schedule as a matter of procedure following any international terrorist incident such as Saturday morning’s terrorists attack in Paris, Padilla added

Philippine APEC Security planners are now seriously looking into this recent incident to ensure security preparations are appropriately upgraded.

Police have been putting up checkpoints on the roads leading to the APEC venues and quick reaction units, walk-through scanning, baggage X-rays, police dogs, vehicles screening, pedestrian screening and explosive and ordnance division personnel have also been deployed at the Philippine International Conventional Center (PICC) and hotels.

Chief Insp. Kimberly Molitas, spokesperson of the National Capital Region Police Office, said the Metro Manila police are already on full alert.

Molitas said all 18,000 Metro Manila policemen will be on the ground during the meetings. Around 100 policemen will be securing each of the hotels where heads of state or governments will be staying and the hotels had been”screened”beforehand.

Local media reported that the military is preparing for any related risk to humanitarian assistance and disaster response situation, which may include chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats (CBRN). The army’s CBRN unit will be also deployed.

APEC spokesperson Charles Jose said the preparations for the APEC Leaders’Meeting draw to a close and the meeting is expected to draw a total of around 7,000 foreign delegates.

“As always, the safety and well-being of our guests remain among our top priorities. Toward this end, we have been implementing additional security measures and deploying an amplified force to secure our guests. Part of this involves enforcing road closures, special APEC lanes and no-fly zones,” said the spokesperson.

The APEC Leader’s Meeting will be held from Nov. 18 to 19 at the PICC.

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