BY VICTOR REYES and NOEL TALACAY
THE PNP will deploy at least 2,500 police officers to secure today’s commemoration of the 34th anniversary of the EDSA People Power revolution even as police chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said they will remain vigilant for any attempts to sow disorder during the celebration.
“Just be vigilant,” said Gamboa when asked what his instruction was to lower police units in connection with the event.
Gamboa said the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) “is in charge of that, to secure those who would conduct rallies.”
The EDSA People Power celebration is traditionally marked by rallies by anti-government groups.
Gamboa said demonstrators will be allowed to hold demonstrations as long as they have the required permits.
“As long as they have permits then we can always allow them. This is a free country, we can exercise our freedom of expression but of course under different limitations as provided for by law,” Gamboa said.
NCRPO chief Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas has said at least 2,500 police will be deployed to secure the commemoration of the revolt’s anniversary.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) general manager Jojo Garcia said two lanes along EDSA in front of the People Power monument in Ortigas and the westbound portion of White Plains Avenue will be closed to traffic, while a two-way scheme will be observed in the eastbound portion of White Plains Avenue.
Motorists in EDSA headed southbound are advised to turn right to Aurora Boulevard or Santolan, left turn to Gilmore or Ortigas, and right turn to EDSA to their destination.
For northbound motorists in EDSA, there are several alternate routes: first route is to turn right to Kalayaan/ Shaw Boulevard/Ortigas, left turn to C5 Road to destination; second is to turn left to Ortigas towards Greenhills, right turn to Santolan to destination; or right turn to Ortigas, left turn to Green Meadows or C-5 Road to destination.
Motorists can also use the “zipper lane” at EDSA before the Guadalupe Drive, up to Santolan, then head to the direction of their destination. They can also turn right to Kalayaan Avenue, make a right turn then U-turn at C5 Road, straight to Katipunan, left turn at B. Serrano, then right at EDSA northbound.
The MMDA advised bus drivers to take the following alternate routes: Right turn to Shaw Boulevard, right turn to Pasig Blvd., straight to C5 Road, straight to Katipunan, left at B. Serrano, then right at EDSA northbound.
For those who will be eastbound from EDSA, drivers can go straight to Ortigas, turn left at Green Meadows or C-5 then head to their destination.
On the other hand, for westbound motorists, they can go straight to Ortigas, right turn at Santolan or N. Domingo then go to the direction of their destination.
For commuters and drivers in the southbound portion of Katipunan Avenue who intend to turn right at White Plains, they can drive straight to Temple Drive, right turn to Green Meadows, then to their destination.
For those at Temple Drive who are going northbound, they can turn left to White Plains then go straight ahead to Katipunan then to their destination.
Garcia said the MMDA will put up more than plastic barriers and portalets, and deploy dump trucks and buses to the People Power monument to ensure peace and order and cleanliness.
“Emergency assistance will be provided for those who need medical help. Ambulances will be positioned at EDSA Gate 4, EDSA Corinthians gate, White Plains Avenue and EDSA corner Ortigas,” Garcia said.