Razon: Basilan conflict won’t spill over to ASEAN meet
MANILA, Philippines — The conflict in Basilan province will not spill over to the 40th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Ministerial Meeting in Manila next week, police Deputy Director General Avelino Razon, who is in charge of security for the conference, said Wednesday.
At a press briefing at the Philippine International Convention Center, Razon gave assurances that the military and police continue to monitor the security situation but are not worried the violence in Basilan will spill over and threaten the international conference in Manila.
He stressed there is no security threat against the ministers’ meeting.
“We are giving the green light for the 40th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting,” Razon said.
”We are in direct coordination with the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines]. We feel that the police operations of the Armed Forces in Basilan to run after the elements that beheaded the Marines will not affect the conduct of the 40th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting,” Razon said.
”The AFP and the PNP [Philippine National Police] have made preparations to contain the operations in Basilan so that there will be no spillover of the operations outside Basilan,” he added.
He said Task Force Manila, which will secure the meeting, has 6,533 personnel, including 600 from the AFP, 45 from the Philippine Coast Guard, and 200 from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.
Aside from the ASEAN ministerial meeting, the Philippines is also hosting the Post Ministerial Conferences (PMCs) and the 14th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).
The three meetings will be attended by the foreign ministers of the 10 ASEAN members and 17 other countries, including some of the world’s big powers like the United States, China, the Russian Federation, Japan, Canada, and the European Union.
ASEAN counts Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.