MANILA, Philippines – Militant groups holding a Labor Day rally at Don Chino Roces Bridge (formerly Mendiola Bridge) to demand, among others, for a wage increase, on Tuesday were rained out.
Many protesters rushed for cover when the strong rains fell just several minutes after they burned an effigy of President Benigno Aquino III at just past 3 p.m.
But the militants went on with their program despite the downpour.
“Takot ba kayo sa ulan? [Are you afraid of the rain?]” a speaker called to the people over the sound system. To which the protesters shouted “Hindi! [no!].”
Senior Superintendent Alex Gutierrez, Philippine National Police (PNP) Manila District Director, said in an interview that he thought the rain was a factor why the ranks of the protesters thinned by late afternoon.
“We estimated around 2,000 initially,” Gutierrez said.
But due to the rains, many might have gotten wet and had gone home, he said.
The militant groups staged a whole day rally to call for a wage increase and the repeal of the oil deregulation and Epira laws.
They began their protest at Plaza Miranda, Quiapo, Manila where the various groups gathered before heading to Mendiola.
Upon arrival at Mendiola, the militants began their program by burning the effigy of Aquino that resembled a pitbull.
Several minutes after the burning of the effigy, the downpour started.
As of 6 p.m., only about 100 protesters were left, according to police.