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PNP: More cops than protesters

By AARON RECUENCO

Fewer protesters have showed up than what the Philippine National Police (PNP) had expected for what was supposed to be a massive protest action for the Labor Day in Metro Manila on Tuesday.

Based on the police count, the number of protesters in the metropolis had peaked to almost 5,000 at 1 p.m., which is way below the tens of thousands of rallyists that organizers had vowed to mobilized.

The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) had deployed some 10,000 policemen in anticipation of throng of protesters that might show up after President Duterte failed to realize his campaign promise of ending the contractualization in the country.

“The mass demonstrations nationwide remain to be peaceful with no untoward incident reported. A total of 6,920 protesters were monitored nationwide,” said Bulalacao.

In Metro Manila, around 5,000 rallyists were monitored in some parts of Manila, particularly in Mendiola, composed of members of various militant labor groups and their allies.

In Bataan, some 30 rallyists staged a protest action at Green Oil Gas Station in Mariveles, Bataan while around 40 protesters were seen in Barangay Balibago in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

In Bicol region, around 500 protesters showed up in Legazpi City; some 300 protesters in Naga City and another 350 in Daet, Camarines Norte.

In Cebu, around 200 protesters joined the Labor Day protest while 500 rallyists in Butuan City.

Bulalacao said that all policemen were instructed to remain at their post until such time that the protest action sites are cleared and when their commanders declared that it is already safe to leave.

PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde, on the other hand, have visited some of the policemen who were deployed in various areas in Metro Manila for the Labor Day protest action.

“Everything was peaceful and we hope that this will end without violence,” said Albayalde.

Albayalde attributed the peaceful conduct of the protest action to the preparations of the police, as well as the show of sincerity on the part of the PNP to prevent violent incident.

“They have seen how we tried to make everything peaceful and maybe they also realized that there is no need for any violent confrontation,” said Albayalde.

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