Friday, May 6, 2011

AFP on the ball when Pacquiao steps in the ring

By Katherine Evangelista, Friday, May 6, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – Life in the streets of the Philippines will stop Sunday, for the much-awaited bout between Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley, but the Armed Forces of the Philippines is not taking any chances in case insurgent groups and lawless elements decide to play killjoy, and take advantage of the brief break.

AFP spokesman Colonel Arnulfo Burgos Jr., acknowledged that previous fights by Filipino boxing superstar and Congressman Pacquiao have always been marked by low crime rates and minimal violent incidents reported nationwide. But the military, he vowed, will continue to provide security all over the archipelago.

“In the past, we think even criminal elements and communist rebels take time off to watch Manny fight,” Col. Burgos observed. “It’s been that peaceful. But it always pays to be vigilant. Rest assured that the AFP will continue to provide security.”

He added that traditionally, thousands of people flock to public venues where live coverage of Manny’s fights are aired. “We’ll be fully deployed in these areas as well,” he said.

“We will maintain our security and vigilance. The security measures are for people and not only for military installations,” Burgos said.

He added that the AFP expects thousands of people to flock to venues where live coverage of the fight will be aired. “Of course, there is the possibility that the insurgent New People’s Army may take advantage and attack these venues,” Col. Burgos said. “We intend to step up our intelligence monitoring efforts to deter these.

Col. Burgos did not discount the possibility that AFP forces assigned to these venues may sneak a peek at Pacquiao’s latest pugilistic conquest, and thereby lose sight off the ball.

“Kahit meron pagkakataong manonood and ating mga tropa, magmamatyag at magbabantay pa rin sila. Makakaasa kayo (Even though our troops may watch Pacquiao while on duty, rest assured that we will maintain security measures and even intensify these to make sure no untowards incidents occur),” Col. Burgos said.

Meanwhile, Col. Burgos said the AFP will be airing the fight live on Sunday at the General Headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, and the headquarters of the unified commands of the Philippine Navy, Philippine army.

Live viewing will also be aired for patients confined at the V. Luna Medical Center and the AFP Medical Center, he said.

“The live coverage is free for members of AFP their dependents friends to include their dependents,” Burgos said.

Inquirer. net

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