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Philippine police on heightened alert for ASEAN meeting
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16:50, July 24, 2007

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After Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's State of the Nation Address (SONA), the police is maintaining a nationwide heightened alert for the 40th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Ministerial Meeting next week, officials said on Tuesday.

"This is a continuing alert status because of the upcoming ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, especially now that the delegates will soon be arriving," said Director Wilfredo Garcia, Philippine National Police Directorate for Operations chief.

The heightened alert was raised Saturday, two days before the SONA, in anticipation of protest rallies.

A heightened alert means half of the 118,000-strong police force must remain at their posts at all times.

Over 6,000 cops will be fielded in Metro Manila to ensure peace and order and to secure some 40 ministers and their spouses, said Garcia.

The delegates will be arriving in the country on July 26. The ministerial meeting formally opens July 27.

Source: Xinhua

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