© Copyright, 2015 (PHNO)
 http://newsflash.org  | NOVEMBER 18 -19, 2015

NOY'S CORNER THIS PAST WEEK...
(MINI-READS followed by FULL REPORTS below)

AQUINO WANTS 'FLAWLESS' & 'SEAMLESS' APEC MEETING


NOVEMBER 12 -SEAT OF HONOR: The setup for the APEC Leaders’ welcome reception on Wednesday at the MOA Arena evokes the World Heritage Banawe Rice Terraces, with the leaders seated around a multi-level stage accented with rice seedlings. The styling is done by Cebu-based internationally renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue, whose iconic Yoda chair (left), made of rattan strips done in rice green, will be used by the leaders. The chairs can swivel to allow viewing of the performances on raised stages set up around the arena. 
President Aquino wants a “flawless and seamless” flow of events during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit the country is hosting this year.
To begin today in various venues are APEC-related activities, including a high-level dialogue on inclusive business, APEC concluding senior officials meeting, APEC business advisory council (ABAC) meeting, APEC small-medium enterprises summit (SME), APEC ministerial meeting, ABAC chief executive officers summit, APEC economic leaders meeting and the leaders’ spouses activities. “In general, he (Aquino) said it would be well for all to review all salient aspects of preparations and continually fine-tune and improve these to ensure flawless and seamless flow of events during the economic leaders’ meeting next week,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said after Aquino and members of his Cabinet inspected the APEC venues Tuesday.Leaders of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United States and Vietnam are attending the summit. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, expected to arrive on Nov. 16, will also have meetings with APEC member-economies. Aquino will have a talk on “APEC’s Inclusive Growth Imperative” moderated by Andrew Stevens, Asia Pacific editor of CNN International, on Nov. 16. In session 1, the President will deliver a keynote speech during the APEC SME Summit on Nov. 17. READ MORE...

ALSO APEC SECURITY: Aquino orders last-minute changes


NOVEMEBR 12 -Less than a week before the start of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leader’s Meeting, President Benigno Aquino 3rd ordered changes in security planS for the event that will bring together 21 world leaders to the Philippines next week. Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr., director-general of the APEC 2015 National Organizing Committee, said the President ordered “further fine-tuning” of the preparations after he personally inspected the different venues to be used for the summit conferences. “The President is very concerned about security as any host would be,” Paynor told reporters. “Marami siyang mga nakita na kailangang baguhin so ipinapatupad ho natin ‘yon… kung ano ‘yung instructions niya gagawin natin [He saw many things that need to be changed … we follow what his instructions are] and then we try to soften that impact by many other ways,” he added. Paynor said the government is in the final phase of preparations for the event. “Because of the very high-profile nature of our guests and of course the nature of the world security today, we have to be ready and we have to be prepared,” he added. As part of security preparations, Paynor said the committee has asked owners and operators of buildings along Roxas Boulevard to shut their windows during the event. “Part of how we can secure leaders as they go or traverse Roxas Boulevard from their hotels coming into PICC [Philippine International Convention Center] is to have windows closed. This is a basic security practice worldwide. In New York, when the UN General Assembly commences in end of September toward October, they request all skyscrapers along Manhattan routes going to the UN to have their windows closed. That is a basic practice,” he added. Paynor said road closures in Metro Manila will speed up the shuttling of APEC delegates to the events. “There is no doubt that many of us will be inconvenienced but it is part of the hosting… They will not be able to move as freely as they are used to,” he added. Presidents Barack Obama of the United States, Xi Jinping of China, Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico and Michelle Bachelet of Chile and Prime Ministers Shinzo Abe of Japan, Justin Trudeau of Canada and Dmitry Medvedev of Russia are among the world leaders flying to the November 18-19 event. They also include the leaders of the other economies of the 21-member grouping, plus the President of Colombia, who will have observer status. Paynor said the Presidential Security Group will handle security for all APEC leaders. He added that security arrangements may be tweaked based on threat assessments. “The security arrangements for the leaders have been planned by the Presidential Security Group. The threats and threat assessments have been conducted for each of the leader and, of course, we all know that they vary and differ depending on who the leader is,” Paynor said. “So, the security preparations for each of the leader depending on their threat assessment and in collaboration and cooperation with their own security forces, we come up with a security plan,” he added. Paynor said there are no plans to switch off mobile phone signals. “As of now, there is no plan to have — or I have not been informed that there’s such a plan to put off–it is not actually jamming but it’s to put off the cell sites of our telcos. Otherwise, it would be very difficult for all of us to communicate. So, that has been addressed and I think at this point, we will continue to have our signals,” he added. Paynor said police personnel in the National Capital Region (NCR or Metro Manila) have been stretched and even complemented by those from other regions.According to him, preparations for the final APEC meetings, which will start on Friday through the Concluding Senior Officials Meeting (CSOM), are 95-97 percent ready but they are still scrutinizing minute details to ensure the event’s success. “The President is on top of everything and he has given us directive that our hosting must be a success from all points,” Paynor said. “This is really a production of sorts where you have 21 different leaders who have common agenda, common schedule, but they have also their own. So we have to ensure that each economy’s agenda will be followed hassle-free, and that they come out of here feeling satisfied that they have done their work, that their objectives were met. And at that point, we can say that we have had a successful hosting of APEC 2015,” he added.Blue alert The military has raised its alert level to “blue status,” which means 50 percent of the troops should remain in their respective offices or camps. READ MORE...

ALSO: Apec security 20 times harder than papal visit


NOVEMBER 14 -Protesters burn mock American flags during a rally outside the US Embassy to protest the alleged US military’s involvement in the row between the Philippines and China on the disputed islands in the South China Sea, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015 in Manila, Philippines. The protesters are opposing the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama next week to the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) Summit of Leaders. AP
The security considerations of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Leaders’ Meeting next week are 20 times more challenging than the pastoral visit of Pope Francis last January, or even of the first time the Philippines hosted the meeting 19 years ago. “The Pope’s visit was a dry run for all of us. You multiply that to 20. That is what we are facing in terms of security,” said Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr., director general of the Apec 2015 National Organizing Council. Twenty because there are 20 high-level foreign leaders, not including the country’s own President Benigno Aquino III, who have to be secured for the two-day meeting.“That was why we had to declare (Nov. 18 and 19) holidays. It has to be explained that anything untoward that could happen to these leaders will be an embarrassment to the whole country,” Paynor said. The minute the world leaders land in Manila, every move has to be calculated and coordinated, he said. Closed, cordoned off For the two-day leaders’ meeting, the 21 officials will be gathered in one room of the Philippine International Convention Center in the Cultural Center Complex. All 21 leaders, including Mr. Aquino, will be billeted in 14 five-star hotels located on Roxas Boulevard, the Makati Central Business District, and Ortigas, according to Paynor. Thus, the entire vicinity around the PICC, including Roxas Boulevard, will have to be cordoned off, said Paynor. All roads, including Edsa, going to Makati and Pasay will be closed to motorists. The United States and Russia have specifically requested that there should be no other movement when their leaders start using a road. A joint task force of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and related agencies will be handling the security of the Apec meetings. But the Presidential Security Group and the PNP will be responsible for securing the hotels where the leaders will be staying. “The PSG takes care of the leaders’ floors in their hotels, one up and one down,” Paynor said. Different challenge Paynor, who was the chief of protocol for President Fidel Ramos in 1996, said there is “a world of difference” between the Philippines’ hosting of Apec at Subic Bay in Zambales province in 1996 and in Manila this year. “Security considerations then were different. The threat levels have gone up for 19 years by 1,000 percent,” he said. “We are looking at how we can safely conduct the meeting without making the place look like it was isolated,” said Paynor. Although the PNP will be using lessons learned from the experience of securing the hugely popular Pope Francis last January, PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor said the challenge this time lies in securing the large number of delegates who are coming for the Apec meetings. “During the papal visit, the challenge was in securing both Pope Francis and the millions of Filipinos wanting to get near him. Now, the challenge is the number of delegates we have to secure as the host country,” he said. READ MORE...


ALSO After Paris shooting, Aquino: ‘We stand with France now’


NOVEMBER 14 -In this photo, Paris, FRANCE: President Benigno S. Aquino III and French President Francois Hollande delivers their statements during the Joint Press Statement at the Ground Floor of the Palais de L'Elysee on Wednesday, September 17, 2014. Ryan Lim/Malacañang Photo Bureau
Repaying the generosity of the international community after the devastation of Typhoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan), President Benigno Aquino III expressed solidarity with and support for France after the deadly attacks in its capital city.“In our time of need, France and her people stood shoulder to shoulder with the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon ‘Haiyan,’” Aquino said in a statement. “We stand with France now, in the firm belief that the light must never dim in Paris,” he said. Aquino said the Filipino people “stand in solidarity with the people of Paris and all of France, in this time of deepest sorrow and the gravest outrage against the perpetrators of these crimes.” Citing the deaths of hundreds of people in various places in Paris on Friday (Paris time), Aquino said the incident demands “a united voice from the world in condemnation and grief.” READ MORE...

PNoy ready for any APEC showdown; Putin calls up Aquino to explain his reasons to skip summit


NOVEMBER 14 -President Aquino is ready to deal with potential heated arguments during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Manila, including a possible showdown between superpowers United States and China. With a few days left before the summit, President Aquino is doing his homework to effectively moderate the discussions among world leaders. “The President has been preparing to chair the APEC as well the APEC Leaders’ Retreat,” Deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte told reporters in the Palace. “The President, being no stranger to APEC summits and how they are chaired, is also prepared to moderate such discussions,” Valte added when asked how Aquino would handle a possible showdown between rival countries like the United States and China during the APEC meeting. The Philippines is hosting this year’s regional summit that will be attended by leaders from the United States, China, Japan, Australia, and others Asia Pacific nations on November 17 to 19. The country hosted the APEC meetings for the first time in 1996. This year’s annual gathering will center on trade and financial cooperation among APEC nations, particularly on measures to promote inclusive growth in the region. The territorial dispute in the South China Sea is not on the agenda of the economic summit but will likely come up on the sidelines of the assembly. The Philippines and China had earlier agreed not to discuss the contentious maritime issue during the APEC summit and instead take steps to revitalize ties between the nations. However, reports said US President Barack Obama intends to raise the South China Sea dispute during his visit to Manila next week. President Aquino has already promised to be the “perfect host” in the APEC summit, enduring the comfort of all visiting leaders and the success of the regional assembly. He has also ordered intensified security measures for the visiting heads of state. READ MORE...

ALSO: Obama’s Asia tour to tackle sea row


NOVEMEBR 14 -US President Barack Obama Photo by: AFP TERRITORIAL disputes will be a “central issue” when US President Barack Obama meets Asian leaders next week, the White House said Thursday, but it played down hopes for a “code of conduct” to ease tensions.National Security Advisor Susan Rice said territorial claims in the South China Sea—which have put the United States in direct dispute with China—would feature prominently during a trip to the Philippines and Malaysia. “This will be a central issue of discussion both at the East Asia Summit as well as at the Asean-US Summit [both in Kuala Lumpur] and the other engagements that we have throughout our visit to Asia,” Rice said. The statement came after the Philippines assured China that rising tensions over territorial disputes in the South China Sea would not be discussed at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Manila next week. Beijing, along with several other Asian capitals, have a knot of claims to maritime territory. But China’s decision to reclaim and build on reefs and other bodies recently prompted the US Navy to send in guided missile destroyer the USS Lassen to within 12 nautical miles of at least one of the artificial islets in the Spratlys chain. Besides China, the other claimants are the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and Taiwan, with some of their claims overlapping. During his trip to the Philippines, Obama will tour a maritime facility, designed to underscore the US commitment to Philippine maritime security, amid talk of a fresh batch of US aid. Manila recently won the right for a UN panel to hear several territorial disputes with China. Beijing has so far ignored the proceedings. Rice said the US view “has always been that these disputes need to be resolved through peaceful, legal means.” READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Noy wants ‘flawless’ APEC hosting

MANILA, NOVEMBER 16, 2015 (PHILSTAR)  By Aurea Calica - Updated November 12, 2015 -


SEAT OF HONOR: The setup for the APEC Leaders’ welcome reception on Wednesday at the MOA Arena evokes the World Heritage Banawe Rice Terraces, with the leaders seated around a multi-level stage accented with rice seedlings. The styling is done by Cebu-based internationally renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue, whose iconic Yoda chair (left), made of rattan strips done in rice green, will be used by the leaders. The chairs can swivel to allow viewing of the performances on raised stages set up around the arena.

MANILA, Philippines – President Aquino wants a “flawless and seamless” flow of events during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit the country is hosting this year.

To begin today in various venues are APEC-related activities, including a high-level dialogue on inclusive business, APEC concluding senior officials meeting, APEC business advisory council (ABAC) meeting, APEC small-medium enterprises summit (SME), APEC ministerial meeting, ABAC chief executive officers summit, APEC economic leaders meeting and the leaders’ spouses activities.

“In general, he (Aquino) said it would be well for all to review all salient aspects of preparations and continually fine-tune and improve these to ensure flawless and seamless flow of events during the economic leaders’ meeting next week,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said after Aquino and members of his Cabinet inspected the APEC venues Tuesday.

Leaders of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United States and Vietnam are attending the summit.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, expected to arrive on Nov. 16, will also have meetings with APEC member-economies.

Aquino will have a talk on “APEC’s Inclusive Growth Imperative” moderated by Andrew Stevens, Asia Pacific editor of CNN International, on Nov. 16.

In session 1, the President will deliver a keynote speech during the APEC SME Summit on Nov. 17.

READ MORE...

APEC session 2 will focus on the new global context and open forum discussion on “Navigating Uncertainty” led by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and others, moderated by Norman Pearlstine, chief content officer of Time Inc.

Session 3 involves innovation and entrepreneurship: “The Next Frontier,” led by the Colombian leader; session four is on “The Future of Asia Pacific Growth” led by Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha; session five, an open forum discussion on human capital:
“Health and Education of the Future” led by Peruvian President Ollanta Humala; and session six, a dialogue on inclusive growth and building resilience: “Strategies for Growth, Equity and Resilience” led by Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang and moderated by Zoher Abdoolcarim, Asia editor for Time International;

Session 7 is an open forum discussion on cities: “What will the City of the Future Look Like?” led by the Lord Mayor of Melbourne Roberto Doyle and others and session eight focuses on trade: “What is the Next Horizon for Asia Pacific Trade?” by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.

Session 9 is a summit dialogue conversation with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe; session 10 is with Russian President Vladimir Putin; session 11 is on “Securing Growth in a Volatile World: What is to be done?” by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Mexican President Enrique Nieto and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Session 12 is with Chinese President Xi Jinping and session 13 will be with United States President Barack Obama.

Aquino will also be hosting the state visits of the Chilean and Mexican leaders ahead of the APEC summit.

The culminating activities will be the leaders’ meetings on Nov. 18 to 19.

Aquino will have formal bilateral meetings with 11 leaders and is expected to have talks with the others on the side.

He will hold a press conference at the end of the meeting on Nov. 19.


MANILA TIMES

Aquino orders last-minute changes November 12, 2015 11:08 pm
by CATHERINE S. VALENTE, REPORTER

Less than a week before the start of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leader’s Meeting, President Benigno Aquino 3rd ordered changes in security planS for the event that will bring together 21 world leaders to the Philippines next week.

Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr., director-general of the APEC 2015 National Organizing Committee, said the President ordered “further fine-tuning” of the preparations after he personally inspected the different venues to be used for the summit conferences.

“The President is very concerned about security as any host would be,” Paynor told reporters.

“Marami siyang mga nakita na kailangang baguhin so ipinapatupad ho natin ‘yon… kung ano ‘yung instructions niya gagawin natin [He saw many things that need to be changed … we follow what his instructions are] and then we try to soften that impact by many other ways,” he added.

Paynor said the government is in the final phase of preparations for the event.

“Because of the very high-profile nature of our guests and of course the nature of the world security today, we have to be ready and we have to be prepared,” he added.

As part of security preparations, Paynor said the committee has asked owners and operators of buildings along Roxas Boulevard to shut their windows during the event.

“Part of how we can secure leaders as they go or traverse Roxas Boulevard from their hotels coming into PICC [Philippine International Convention Center] is to have windows closed.

This is a basic security practice worldwide. In New York, when the UN General Assembly commences in end of September toward October, they request all skyscrapers along Manhattan routes going to the UN to have their windows closed. That is a basic practice,” he added.

Paynor said road closures in Metro Manila will speed up the shuttling of APEC delegates to the events.

“There is no doubt that many of us will be inconvenienced but it is part of the hosting… They will not be able to move as freely as they are used to,” he added.

Presidents Barack Obama of the United States, Xi Jinping of China, Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico and Michelle Bachelet of Chile and Prime Ministers Shinzo Abe of Japan, Justin Trudeau of Canada and Dmitry Medvedev of Russia are among the world leaders flying to the November 18-19 event.

They also include the leaders of the other economies of the 21-member grouping, plus the President of Colombia, who will have observer status.

Paynor said the Presidential Security Group will handle security for all APEC leaders.

He added that security arrangements may be tweaked based on threat assessments.


In Photo: A policeman passes by a huge hashtag sign installed at the Quirino Grandstand on Roxas Boulevard in Manila. Thousands of policemen are set to be deployed to keep peace and order for the upcoming Apec summit.

“The security arrangements for the leaders have been planned by the Presidential Security Group. The threats and threat assessments have been conducted for each of the leader and, of course, we all know that they vary and differ depending on who the leader is,” Paynor said.

“So, the security preparations for each of the leader depending on their threat assessment and in collaboration and cooperation with their own security forces, we come up with a security plan,” he added.

Paynor said there are no plans to switch off mobile phone signals.

“As of now, there is no plan to have — or I have not been informed that there’s such a plan to put off–it is not actually jamming but it’s to put off the cell sites of our telcos.

Otherwise, it would be very difficult for all of us to communicate. So, that has been addressed and I think at this point, we will continue to have our signals,” he added.

Paynor said police personnel in the National Capital Region (NCR or Metro Manila) have been stretched and even complemented by those from other regions.

According to him, preparations for the final APEC meetings, which will start on Friday through the Concluding Senior Officials Meeting (CSOM), are 95-97 percent ready but they are still scrutinizing minute details to ensure the event’s success.

“The President is on top of everything and he has given us directive that our hosting must be a success from all points,” Paynor said.

“This is really a production of sorts where you have 21 different leaders who have common agenda, common schedule, but they have also their own. So we have to ensure that each economy’s agenda will be followed hassle-free, and that they come out of here feeling satisfied that they have done their work, that their objectives were met. And at that point, we can say that we have had a successful hosting of APEC 2015,” he added.

Blue alert
The military has raised its alert level to “blue status,” which means 50 percent of the troops should remain in their respective offices or camps.

READ MORE...

Col. Noel Detoyato, chief of the military’s Public Affairs Office, said the alert level was raised to enable the military to immediately deploy soldiers in case the APEC security task force asks for reinforcements.

“If there is a need for warm bodies we can immediately respond,” Detoyato added.

Almost a thousand policemen would be deployed near Mall of Asia (MOA) in Pasay City.


Nearly 3,000 cops deployed for APEC | Cebu Daily Newscebudailynews.inquirer.net

Senior Supt. Joel Doria, chief of police of Pasay City and commander of Task Force MOA, said 478 policemen under his command will secure the welcome dinner to be hosted for about 1,000 delegates including the heads of states on November 18 at the MOA Arena.

He said the 478 police personnel will be deployed in the vicinity of MOA starting on Friday.
An additional 466 policemen from different police districts in Metro Manila will secure all entry points to the MOA.

Doria noted that the city government of Pasay has not issued any permit for anyone to hold a rally.

A “No Permit, No Rally” rule will be applied during the week-long leaders summit.
The Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) spokesman, Supt. Grace Tamayo, said 842 highway patrol policemen will escort the convoy of the leaders and delegates.

Tamayo added that 300 will augment the Presidential Security Group while 282 will join forces with the Police Security Protection Group. Around 227 will be deployed to man the APEC Lanes on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA).

She noted that the primary duty of the HPG during the APEC week is the route and convoy security along EDSA and on Roxas Boulevard.


A police officer gives orders to his men as they practice security deployment on Sunday for the upcoming Apec summit in Manila.

Tamayo said that in each convoy of the APEC leader, there would be four motorcycles and two mobile patrol cars from HPG apart from the security vehicles from other security agencies.

NAIA lacks CCTV cameras

Former Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino has urged his former colleagues in the government to validate reports that the country’s premier airport does not have enough closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras after the Manila International Airport Authority failed to pay the contractor in full.

“MIAA should validate this report because the laglag-bala [bullet-planting] controversy has caused anxiety among local and foreign tourists,” Tolentino said in a statement.

“Let us not blame MIAA [Manila International Airport Authority] for this. What we need is cooperation among involved agencies,” he added.

The former MMDA chief claimed that the MIAA still owes the contractor about one-half of the contract amount.

A full-scale crash and rescue exercise aimed to test airport preparedness in emergency situations was conducted also on Thursday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Vicente Guerzon, MIAA senior assistant general manager, said the exercise is a security standard set by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

It was also conducted to ensure effective response by NAIA’s Emergency Services Department to an aircraft accident that requires planning, appropriate equipment and training of qualified personnel.

A crash simulation tested responsiveness of fire, medical, rescue and security personnel of the MIAA. A mock aircraft was set on fire as part of the exercise.
With FERNAN MARASIGAN, BENJIE L. VERGARA and PNA


INQUIRER

Apec security 20 times harder than papal visit By: Jaymee P. Gamil and Julie M. Aurelio, Niña P. Calleja @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 03:15 AM November 14th, 2015


Protesters burn mock American flags during a rally outside the US Embassy to protest the alleged US military’s involvement in the row between the Philippines and China on the disputed islands in the South China Sea, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015 in Manila, Philippines. The protesters are opposing the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama next week to the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) Summit of Leaders. AP

The security considerations of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Leaders’ Meeting next week are 20 times more challenging than the pastoral visit of Pope Francis last January, or even of the first time the Philippines hosted the meeting 19 years ago.

“The Pope’s visit was a dry run for all of us. You multiply that to 20. That is what we are facing in terms of security,” said Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr., director general of the Apec 2015 National Organizing Council.

Twenty because there are 20 high-level foreign leaders, not including the country’s own President Benigno Aquino III, who have to be secured for the two-day meeting.

“That was why we had to declare (Nov. 18 and 19) holidays. It has to be explained that anything untoward that could happen to these leaders will be an embarrassment to the whole country,” Paynor said.

The minute the world leaders land in Manila, every move has to be calculated and coordinated, he said.

Closed, cordoned off

For the two-day leaders’ meeting, the 21 officials will be gathered in one room of the Philippine International Convention Center in the Cultural Center Complex.

All 21 leaders, including Mr. Aquino, will be billeted in 14 five-star hotels located on Roxas Boulevard, the Makati Central Business District, and Ortigas, according to Paynor.

Thus, the entire vicinity around the PICC, including Roxas Boulevard, will have to be cordoned off, said Paynor.

All roads, including Edsa, going to Makati and Pasay will be closed to motorists.
The United States and Russia have specifically requested that there should be no other movement when their leaders start using a road.

A joint task force of the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and related agencies will be handling the security of the Apec meetings.

But the Presidential Security Group and the PNP will be responsible for securing the hotels where the leaders will be staying.

“The PSG takes care of the leaders’ floors in their hotels, one up and one down,” Paynor said.

Different challenge

Paynor (photo), who was the chief of protocol for President Fidel Ramos in 1996, said there is “a world of difference” between the Philippines’ hosting of Apec at Subic Bay in Zambales province in 1996 and in Manila this year.

“Security considerations then were different. The threat levels have gone up for 19 years by 1,000 percent,” he said.

“We are looking at how we can safely conduct the meeting without making the place look like it was isolated,” said Paynor.

Although the PNP will be using lessons learned from the experience of securing the hugely popular Pope Francis last January, PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor said the challenge this time lies in securing the large number of delegates who are coming for the Apec meetings.

“During the papal visit, the challenge was in securing both Pope Francis and the millions of Filipinos wanting to get near him. Now, the challenge is the number of delegates we have to secure as the host country,” he said.

READ MORE...

He added that Filipinos, particularly Catholics, wanted to get physically involved in the papal visit while this time around, they will be mostly observing the Apec from the sidelines.

Mayor noted that during the papal visit, the millions of Filipinos attending the Pope’s public engagements were driven to behave properly because of their faith.

This time, the PNP and other agencies in the security sector are preparing for a different type of crowd, an almost hostile one, in the form of protesters expected to carry out anti-Apec rallies.

All manner of threats

PNP Director General Ricardo Marquez and Interior Secretary Mel Sarmiento said the security task force for the meetings has prepared for “all potential threats,” ranging from natural calamities and criminal elements, to rallies and even the possibility of the police being struck by food poisoning or the flu.

The police will be putting up checkpoints, quick reaction units, intelligence officers, tactical operations center personnel, incident management teams,walk-through scanning, baggage X-rays, pat-down security, police assistance desks, vehicles screening, pedestrian screening, room, parking and perimeter security, and explosive and ordnance division personnel at the Apec venues, hotels and routes.

The task force is in charge of the venue, billet and route security, emergency preparedness, as well as peace and order which includes crowd control and anti-criminality campaigns.
Marquez, who is the commander of the interagency task force, said it was preparing for more than 10,000 participants.

“We are confident we have put up a good security plan. We have covered 36 events already. We have gathered the best people and practices from those events. Our people learned on the job. This is the final show,” said Mayor, who also directed the security preparations for the five-day visit of Pope Francis last January.

Marquez and Sarmiento declined to give specific deployment details, particularly the overall police deployment figures, citing the need for the “confidentiality” of operations.

However, Marquez said the deployment was “big enough to secure anybody.”

“We are bringing in some personnel from other regions… so that anticrime operations in the National Capital Region will not be jeopardized, making sure that a sizable number of NCR personnel are still doing regular operations,” he said.

He said the alert level for the national police will be raised to full alert by Saturday, meaning all police officers will be on duty.

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

“We’ll make sure other areas are secure also. We have critical infrastructures to guard. There are probably other elements who would like to go to Manila and create problems. That’s part of security perspective,” said Marquez.

The Armed Forces, which is in a support role to the PNP, is lending manpower and equipment to the police. Mayor said they have requested the air, land and maritime assets of the military, which have been 100 percent in place weeks before the meetiongs.

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 to the Apec.


PNP chief Ricardo Marquez

18,000 police

Aside from the full-scale exercises over the weekend, the PNP has been rehearsing evacuation drills, police personnel given flu vaccines, and caterers limited to serving only 300 police personnel to ensure that the food is always fresh.

Molitas said all 18,000 Metro Manila police members 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. Molitas said the hotels had been “screened” beforehand.

More than 800 men from the Highway Patrol Group will be manning the routes to be taken by the dignitaries and accompanying official convoys, said spokesperson Supt. Grace Tamayo.

The PSG will be working with the security agents of the foreign dignitaries in securing the government heads. The police Security and Protection Group will secure the ministers.

300 BMWs


SLEEK INTERIOR. Perfect for VIPs, the interiors of the BMW 520d 2015 Apec Edition offers sleek all-black upholstery, ambient light, velour matting, automatic two-zone air conditioning, Radio BMW Professional and control infotainment. Safety-wise, it is built with airbags for front, rear and side-impact protection, plus the follow-me-home function and electronic vehicle immobilizer. Its interiors meanwhile are indeed made for VIPs, with its sleek all-black upholstery, ambient light, velour matting, automatic two-zone air conditioning, Radio BMW Professional and control infotainment.

The government will be providing 300 BMW cars to transport the Apec ministers and senior officials.

Automobile company BMW has sponsored the vehicles after winning the public bidding this year.

The world leaders, except for Obama and Putin who will be bringing their own cars, will ride the BMW 7 series.

Marquez confirmed that earlier this year the Department of Budget and Management purchased for the PNP 110 units of the 2015 Toyota Altis, as well as around 200 new motorcycles for the use of the security convoys for the dignitaries.

Local suppliers have also “lent” Nissan and BMW sedans to the PNP for the same purpose, he said.

The security task force’s Multiagency Coordinating Center, manned by 20 government agencies, will also provide a live monitoring of Apec activities, including road and air movements. Security cameras have been set up along the routes, at the PICC, and at the hotels.

No security threat

The military and the police said they have not monitored any security threat to the Apec meetings and all possible threat groups are being monitored as well.

In a statement sent out on Wednesday, Armed Forces Southern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Ricardo Visaya categorically denied that recent insurgency-related incidents in southern Luzon were related to the Apec summit.

Visaya was referring to four consecutive encounters between the military and New People’s Army in Oriental Mindoro, Camarines Sur and Albay provinces on Nov. 10 and Nov. 11.

Visaya said the NPA was just attempting “to project strength of their organization which has been continuously on the drop.”

“The Southern Luzon Command has not monitored in its area of responsibility any information on NPA plans to disrupt the upcoming Apec,” Visaya said.

Protest rallies

According to Molitas, if protest rallies should break out, “we will ensure that they will be held peacefully and in an orderly manner, without incident.”

Marquez said foreign embassies, the conference venues, and the hotels involved in the meetings are “controlled areas” which would be hard for protesters to approach.

“We will close ceremonial roads. Only those authorized will have access. Those roads are in the vicinity of billet hotels and major venues,” he said.


INQUIRER

Aquino: ‘We stand with France now’ SHARES: 1319 VIEW COMMENTS By: Kristine Angeli Sabillo @KSabilloINQ INQUIRER.net 12:13 PM November 14th, 2015


In this photo, Paris, FRANCE: President Benigno S. Aquino III and French President Francois Hollande delivers their statements during the Joint Press Statement at the Ground Floor of the Palais de L'Elysee on Wednesday, September 17, 2014. Ryan Lim/Malacañang Photo Bureau

Repaying the generosity of the international community after the devastation of Typhoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan), President Benigno Aquino III expressed solidarity with and support for France after the deadly attacks in its capital city.

“In our time of need, France and her people stood shoulder to shoulder with the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon ‘Haiyan,’” Aquino said in a statement.

“We stand with France now, in the firm belief that the light must never dim in Paris,” he said.

Aquino said the Filipino people “stand in solidarity with the people of Paris and all of France, in this time of deepest sorrow and the gravest outrage against the perpetrators of these crimes.”

Citing the deaths of hundreds of people in various places in Paris on Friday (Paris time), Aquino said the incident demands “a united voice from the world in condemnation and grief.”

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The President said the Philippine National Police is on alert after the “atrocities” that resulted in the deaths of more than a hundred people in the Bataclan concert hall, restaurants in the city center and the vicinity of Stade de France.

“For our part, we reassure our fellow citizens that we are taking all necessary precautions…There is no credible threat registered at this time but let us all be cooperative and vigilant,” he explained.

Aquino said the Department of Foreign Affairs will issue updates on the situation and will be ready to offer assistance to Filipinos visiting and working in France.

Aquino has a standing request to visit Paris for the 21st Conference of Parties or climate change negotiations later this year. The Philippines, especially after Yolanda, has been the poster boy of climate vulnerable countries.

In February this year, French President Francois Hollande visited the Philippines to launch the Manila Call to Action on Climate Change with Aquino.

France is the host country of this year’s climate change conference, which is expected to draw tens of thousands of people from all over the world, including heads of states of different countries
. RAM


MANILA BULLETIN

PNoy ready for any APEC showdown; Putin calls up Aquino to explain his reasons to skip summit by Genalyn Kabiling November 14, 2015 Share28 Tweet5 Share0 Email1 Share103

President Aquino is ready to deal with potential heated arguments during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Manila, including a possible showdown between superpowers United States and China.

With a few days left before the summit, President Aquino is doing his homework to effectively moderate the discussions among world leaders.

“The President has been preparing to chair the APEC as well the APEC Leaders’ Retreat,” Deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte told reporters in the Palace.

“The President, being no stranger to APEC summits and how they are chaired, is also prepared to moderate such discussions,” Valte added when asked how Aquino would handle a possible showdown between rival countries like the United States and China during the APEC meeting.

The Philippines is hosting this year’s regional summit that will be attended by leaders from the United States, China, Japan, Australia, and others Asia Pacific nations on November 17 to 19. The country hosted the APEC meetings for the first time in 1996.

This year’s annual gathering will center on trade and financial cooperation among APEC nations, particularly on measures to promote inclusive growth in the region. The territorial dispute in the South China Sea is not on the agenda of the economic summit but will likely come up on the sidelines of the assembly.

The Philippines and China had earlier agreed not to discuss the contentious maritime issue during the APEC summit and instead take steps to revitalize ties between the nations. However, reports said US President Barack Obama intends to raise the South China Sea dispute during his visit to Manila next week.

President Aquino has already promised to be the “perfect host” in the APEC summit, enduring the comfort of all visiting leaders and the success of the regional assembly. He has also ordered intensified security measures for the visiting heads of state.

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“Certainly, when it comes to the economic issues, the President is well prepared to chair and to navigate discussions between different member economies as they take place during the Leaders’ Retreat,” Valte said.

PUTIN REACHES OUT

As this developed, Russian President Vladimir Putin has reached out to President Aquino via a telephone call on Thursday night, informing him that he would not be able to attend the regional summit in Manila.

The Philippine leader assured Putin that he understands his decision to stay in his country to deal with domestic issues such as the probe into the fatal crash of a Russian passenger plane in Egypt, according to deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte. Putin will instead be represented by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in the APEC leaders’ summit next week.

Among the domestic issues being dealt by Putin is the ongoing investigation of a Russian airliner hat recently crashed in Egypt, killing all 224 people on board. The plane reportedly broke apart on midair last October 31 but the cause of the crash is still unknown.

MARITIME SECURITY

Meanwhile, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has deployed maritime security forces within Manila Bay as additional safety precaution for APEC delegates.

Commodore Joel Garcia, head of the Task Force on Maritime Security for APEC, said some 80 floating assets have been deployed at the Manila Bay, including the Philippine Navy, the Philippine National Police Maritime Group, and the PCG.

“We have a security exclusion zone and No-Sail Zone (NSZ). This means we will not allow any vessel to sail or move in the NSZ. In the security exclusion zone, we will not allow vessels to sail, except if they have asked prior permission; when we allow them to sail, we would provide them with escort sea marshals on board,” Garcia said in yesterday’s send-off ceremony for the APEC maritime security forces at the PCG headquarters at the Port Area in Manila.

The security exclusion zone extends from Pasig River going to Parañaque measuring two nautical miles from the shoreline. The NSZ also extends from Pasig River to Parañaque and measures 30 yards from the shoreline.

“As for foreign vessels, they will have to observe the NSZ and the exclusion zone but we have special arrangements with the foreign vessels through their local agents. In fact, we have constant social engineering including traders and shippers so they understand our work. They are cooperating with our security measures,” Garcia added.

IN OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:

• Vice President Jejomar C. Binay disclosed that he will not be part of President Aquino’s party in welcoming the heads of state and delegates to the APEC meeting. “The protocol is that the Vice President is always part of the welcoming party for heads of states on a ‘state visit’ but not on their attendance for the APEC meeting. But I will be attending the reception,” Binay said when asked about his role in the event.

• Malacañang yeterday defended the P10-billion budget for the hosting of the 2015 APEC, saying it is the country’s economy that will benefit most from the amount that the Philippines invested for the prestigious event. “For the attendance alone, it is expected that more or less 10,000 people including 3,000 media delegates, will participate in the APEC. Each one of them will spend that will go directly to our economy,” Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. explained in an interview with Radyo ng Bayan.

• First responders, including medical teams formed for the APEC in the City of Manila will use sophisticated gadgets, including electronic resuscitating machines for medical emergencies and tablets for situation monitoring and reporting. The Manila Disaster Risk and Reduction Office (MDRRO) yesterday presented the highly-advanced Automated External Defibrillators (AED) that will be used by its personnel who will be deployed in strategic areas during the APEC summit slated next week.

• The Parañaque City government announced that continous clearing operations against vendors and illegal terminals will be conducted in the Baclaran area in preparation for the APEC next week. According to Mayor Edwin Olivarez, he had already instructed city administrator Ding Soriano to dispatch the Mayor’s Action Team under its executive director Jojo Laurito to ensure that Roxas Boulevard and the Auxillary Roads will be free from any eyesore during the summit. (With reports from Jenny F. Manongdo, PNA, Erwin Beleo, and Jean Fernando)


INQUIRER

Obama’s Asia tour to tackle sea row posted November 14, 2015 at 12:01 am by Andrew Beatty, AFP and Sandy Araneta


US President Barack Obama Photo by: AFP

TERRITORIAL disputes will be a “central issue” when US President Barack Obama meets Asian leaders next week, the White House said Thursday, but it played down hopes for a “code of conduct” to ease tensions.

National Security Advisor Susan Rice said territorial claims in the South China Sea—which have put the United States in direct dispute with China—would feature prominently during a trip to the Philippines and Malaysia.

“This will be a central issue of discussion both at the East Asia Summit as well as at the Asean-US Summit [both in Kuala Lumpur] and the other engagements that we have throughout our visit to Asia,” Rice said.

The statement came after the Philippines assured China that rising tensions over territorial disputes in the South China Sea would not be discussed at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Manila next week.

Beijing, along with several other Asian capitals, have a knot of claims to maritime territory.

But China’s decision to reclaim and build on reefs and other bodies recently prompted the US Navy to send in guided missile destroyer the USS Lassen to within 12 nautical miles of at least one of the artificial islets in the Spratlys chain.

Besides China, the other claimants are the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and Taiwan, with some of their claims overlapping.

During his trip to the Philippines, Obama will tour a maritime facility, designed to underscore the US commitment to Philippine maritime security, amid talk of a fresh batch of US aid.

Manila recently won the right for a UN panel to hear several territorial disputes with China. Beijing has so far ignored the proceedings.

Rice said the US view “has always been that these disputes need to be resolved through peaceful, legal means.”

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“The establishment of and implementation of a code of conduct agreed among the leaders of the region, the states of the region and, in particular, the claimants would be a positive step forward,” she added.

“But I don’t expect it to be a concrete outcome of this particular visit.”

Last week an Asia-Pacific defense ministers’ meeting in Malaysia ended on a sour note as the United States and China butted heads over whether a final joint statement should mention the South China Sea.

Asked why Obama was willing to attend so many Asia summits in short order, senior Obama foreign policy aide Ben Rhodes said, “When we’re not at the table, we’re on the menu.”

The issue is likely to come up again in bilateral meetings with leaders from Canada, Australia, the Philippines and Malaysia.

During his visit to Malaysia, Obama will also visit a refugee center, to highlight the issue as a “global challenge.”

“There are enormous refugees flows out of Syria into Europe. There are enormous refugee flows in Africa. There are enormous refugee flows in Asia,” said Rhodes.

“Malaysia hosts a very significant population of refugees, including a significant number of Rohingya who have had to leave (Myanmar),” he added.

The Palace on Friday said territorial claims in the South China Sea will take a back seat during the Apec Summit next week.

“All the (Apec) member economies are fully aware that it’s an economic forum, such that geopolitical or political concerns usually take the backseat to the economic issues that are discussed in any Leaders’ Retreat,” said Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte, during a press briefing in Malacanang.

She said she did not know if the US would raise the issue, however.

Vale also said she could not be sure if the issue would be discussed in bilateral meetings during the Apec Summit.

She added that the government was now preparing for the second round in its arbitration case filed against China before the UN-backed Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands.

The next round of hearings will be conducted on Nov. 24 to 30 in The Hague.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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