The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) will increase police presence around the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao on Wednesday, Dec. 05, for the Game-2 of the UAAP Men’s Basketball Finals Series between the Ateneo Blue Eagles and the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons.
NCRPO Chief P/Dir. Guillermo Eleazar said that he has instructed the Quezon City Police District (QCPD), headed by PC/Supt Joselito Esquivel, to deploy the adequate number of personnel, who will coordinate with the security management of the Smart Araneta Coliseum to ensure peace and order.
Eleazar insisted that there have been social media posts insinuating of a brewing brawl if the game between the two teams intensify.
“Para sigurado maglalagay tayo ng ating kapulisan. Iba kasi kung makikita ng ating mga kababayan na may pulis sa kapaligiran. Ito ay malaking deterrent,” Eleazar said during DZRH’s One On One.
The NCRPO chief estimates that about 50 additional police forces will be deployed in the area but it will still be decided by the leadership of the QCPD and the Cubao Police Station.
“Unlike sa mga ibang programa diyaan, na skeletal force lang ang kailangan, maganda na rin na may adequate personnel tayo diyan. I will let the QCPD director as well the commander of Cubao Police station para mag-talaga ng kailangan na personnel,” Eleazar explained.
Aside from incidents of violence, the additional police units will also serve as deterrents for thieves, and scalpers, individuals re-selling tickets of the game for a much higher price.
Eleazar said that they deployed members of the Regional Special Operations Unit during the Game-1 in the SM Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City on Saturday, Dec. 01, and they arrested 17 scalpers selling tickets worth at least 10 times the original price.
“Nagbibigay na ako ng babala sa mga kababayan natin na magsasamantala diyan ay aarestuhin namin kayo. Malalaman namin kung sino ang responsible o sino yung mga mastermind na namumuhunan diyan,” Eleazar warned scalpers.
Meanwhile, Eleazar reminded the public that the so-called Battle of Katipunan will just be a basketball game, we should enjoy it.
The police official also asked supporters of the Fighting Maroons and Blue Eagles to not make social media posts that may urge violent actions against the opposing sides, and to show sportsmanship.
“Let us enjoy the moment and set a good example sa ating mga estudyante. Itong dalawa na ito ay prestihiyoso at respected schools, mga estudyante na may mataas na pinag-aralan. Talagan sports lang itong laban na ito,” Eleazar said.
“It is just a game between top students of our country and all students nationwide will be watching you kaya maging ehemplo tayo and let us enjoy the moment,” Eleazar added.
Earlier this week, Spooky Farolan, a member of the UP Board of Regents, posted in his Facebook account that the Blue Eagles will not have a complete line-up on Game-2 since three players will be injured.
Farolan even commented in his now-deleted post that all fraternities in UP could form a composite strike team ‘as a sign of solidarity’. He even said that fraternities of both schools could have a brawl ‘as part of the half-time show’.
“Pwede rin na all UP frats vs all Ateneo frats sa Wednesday. Old school suntukan lang. Walang gamit. Walang bodyguards. Good old barbaric stupid ignorant machismic hand-to-hand violence,” the UP executive said in his comment.
Farolan has already claimed that his post was not meant to advocate violence but was sarcastic in nature.