Philippines: Security beefed up, cops on high alert ahead of ASEAN meeting

The Philippines is expecting 1,700 VIP delegates for this year's Asean meeting.

Philippines Police
Police line up Reuters

The Philippine government has mobilised 13,000 cops and assigned them to strategic venues in Manila ahead of this week's 50th Ministerial Meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Metro Manila Police Director, Oscar Albayalde, briefed the presidential security team and palace officials this week on security issues and said that they have to mobilize a huge number of people. It is expected that 1,700 VIP delegates will attend this year's Asean meeting, which is scheduled for August 2 to 8.

Albayalde said he and his office is prepared to secure different ASEAN leaders, who would come to Manila. Among those who are expected to come are ministers and diplomats who will discuss mechanisms to bring Asean nations closer as one community.

Hundreds of delegates have already arrived in Manila as part of the advanced team of foreign ministers and they have been billeted in 21 hotels in the city.

The weeklong Asean meeting will be held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City and police have already been deployed to secure the place.

The Philippines now chairs the ASEAN community and will continue to host series of Asean meetings to develop mechanisms to foster closer relations within and among ASEAN nations.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said one of his prior foreign relations policy is to strengthen relations with his Asean neighbours first before establishing closer relationships with the West.

Despite the series of successes of the ASEAN community to become one of the influential economic blocks in the region, some members of the Asean community are divided on the issue like the South China Sea dispute.