Labor Day protests end peacefully, says PNP

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Protesters, mostly workers, picket the Labor Department in Manila, Philippines to protest the Labor Day statement by Philippine President Benigno Aquino III of granting non-wage benefits to workers. AP

MANILA, Philippines — Labor Day protest actions in Manila and other parts of the country ended Wednesday evening peacefully, a Philippine National Police spokesman said.

Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said “no significant untoward incidents were reported in Metro Manila and other key cities across the country” as workers’ groups from different labor organizations celebrated Labor Day.

But even as protesters have mostly dispersed from different rally locations, personnel from the National Capital Region Police Office remained on alert along Chino Roces Bridge, Liwasang Bonifacio, Mabuhay Rotonda, Bonifacio Monument, Plaza Salamanca in Ermita, Manila; and at the Ninoy Aquino monument in Makati City where an estimated 5,000 participants from different labor groups briefly held their Labor Day programs earlier.

Security measures had been in place since 6 a.m. in anticipation of various Labor Day activities by different workers’ groups and other cause-oriented organizations.

“We attribute this generally peaceful and orderly Labor Day celebration to the early preparations by the Police Regional Offices that contributed significantly to the successful implementation of security operations,” Cerbo said.

In Mendiola, protesters dispersed a little before 7 p.m. after the ceremonial burning of President Benigno Aquino’s effigy.

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