CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES – A local police official here said the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in Cebu have so far been peaceful and orderly with no reported cases of threats to the safety of the delegates, the Philippine News Agency has reported.

“It could be because of the participation of not only all government agencies, but also the community. That’s why we are thankful to the community for their support for our operations,” chief of the Regional Directorial Staff in Central Visayas, Police Senior Superintendent Rey Lyndon Lawas, told reporters in a press briefing.

Lawas said they are heightening security in the province as more APEC delegates arrive in the coming days for high-level discussions.

“As part of the preparations for the whole APEC-related meetings in Cebu, and with the coming of more delegates, as well as high-level officials, we will also level up our security preparations,” he said, adding that more police personnel will be posted in critical areas.

So far, 1,492 delegates have arrived in Cebu, 300 of whom are local participants and more than 1,000 from abroad.

Noting that they have been monitoring the crime rate since the first week of July, Lawas observed a 6 percent decrease in crime incidence from the first and second week of August, especially in Metro Cebu.

“This is probably because more policemen have been deployed to the field,” he said.

On the alleged anomaly regarding the food allowance of police personnel assigned to keep the peace and order, Lawas said they are willing to cooperate in the inquiry announced by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

Based on the guidance of Task Force Cebu, the police command is ready to answer questions on the alleged anomaly, and the police leadership is ready to present documents, if necessary, he said.

“We have nothing to hide,” Lawas said. – with PNA