PNP reminds Miss Universe security: No selfies, please
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Over 1,300 police in Metro Manila alone will be tapped to secure the 65th Miss Universe pageant and its auxiliary events in the Philippines the entire month of January.
But for the 57 or so who will be designated as close-in security personnel of the pageant candidates, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has this reminder: stay professional, and take no selfies.
Both male and female cops from the Police Security and Protection Group (PSPG) – the unit that provides VIP security – will be deployed for the pageant. All PSPG personnel recently took a refresher course on VIP security.
One police officer will be deployed for every 4 pageant contestants.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, January 10, Senior Superintendent Emmanuel Luis Licup of the Directorate for Operations said police will provide close-in, perimeter, and route security during the pageant.
Police will be stationed at the airport for the candidates' arrival, event venues, routes, and their billeting areas. The PSPG, Highway Patrol Group, Aviation Security Group, Intelligence Group, and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group will take the lead in Metro Manila, while regional police will take over in auxiliary events around the country.
Licup said the PNP is preparing to secure not only the candidates and their teams but pageant VIPs including organizers, judges, and the family members of the pageant bets.
Meanwhile, in Davao, Police XI regional director Manuel Gaerlan said that they will also impose the no selfie-policy when the candidates visit the province on January 19 for a tour and fashion show.
Gaerlan instructed his personnel to ensure the safety and protection of the contestants, as around 4,000 police personnel will be deployed in Davao City to provide security for pageant candidates, jurors, performers, organizers, and their relatives.
Aside from the police contingent, personnel from the Presidential Security Group will be detailed as personal security to the contestants.
While the PNP is aware that "all eyes will be on the Philippines" during the pageant, it won't be asking for extra funds from the government. President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier insisted that the country should not shell out money to host the beauty pageant.
There will also be no road closures even during the main event on January 30 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, also on Duterte's orders.
Most of the activities – at least in Metro Manila – will happen in the cities of Pasay and Parañaque. – with a report from Editha Z. Caduaya/ Rappler.com