Agusan del Norte governor apologizes for PSG lockdown, blames change of schedule

By Ben Serrano 

PSG personnel implement stiff security protocols to ensure the safety of the President during a campaign rally of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in Cabadbaran City on Sunday. Ben Serrano

The host of last night’s successful visit and grand rally of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan Agusan del Norte (PDP-Laban) held at the Caraga State University oval grounds in the capital city  of Cabadbaran, apologized for the Presidential Security Group (PSG)  lockdown, saying it was meant for the security of the Chief Executive.

Thousand of attendees of the grand political rally complained when PSG and police personnel did not allow them to go out the venue at all entrance and exit gates of the state university.

Some reportedly have fainted because of hunger, fatigue, some with hypertension and blood sugar problems who were not allowed to go out after nearly three-hour speech of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte at the rally.

Complainants some of them barangay officials decry the security personnel accompanying the PSG who told them not to get out since the President and his entourage are still inside and that they (Duterte and group will pass the exit and entrance gate.

It turned out Duterte and entourage never passed the gate since they leave the venue via chopper. They claimed it was not fault of Agusan del Norte Governor Angel Amante-Matba but PSG. 

For her part, Gov. Amante-Matba said some 16,000 food packs with drinks that include one meal and one snack were prepared for last night’s event. 

“The problem begins with the change of schedule of the arrival of the President and his delivery of speech that started past 6 p.m. already and ended almost 9 p.m. And with the people who are eager to see the President waited since afternoon and did not leavethe venue till the President finished his speech, it was only natural that many already tired and hungry. Because we cannot control the thousands who are eager to see the Chief Executive,” the governor said.

“In behalf of the PSG. I apologized as we are only expecting 16,000 attendees but it want up to some 30,000 who attended. Thus the food and drinking water were only prepared for that number,” she added.

The lady governor said Duterte’s visit in Cabadbaran was actually a personal invitation in time of the birthday celebration of her late father, former Executive Secretary and Agusan del Norte Rep. Edelmiro Amante.

“Thus since Duterte was coming and so we took the opportunity of why not hold PDP-Laban Agusan del Norte grand rally. Thus the activity last night was actually purely meant for PDP-Laban Agusan del Norte,” Gov. Amate-Matba said.

Duterte was accompanied by six administration senatorial candidates, namely former SAP Bong Go, Rep. Sajid Mangundadatu, ex-MMDA chief Francis Tolentino, Sonny Angara, JV Ejercito and former PNP Chief Ronald “Bato”  Dela Rosa.

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