Scores slightly hurt as guards disperse protesting workers in Laguna
MANILA, Philippines — Thirty-seven sustained minor injuries as security guards dispersed protesting workers of a detergent factory in Calamba City, Laguna early Friday.
Lt. Col. Jack Malinao, chief of Calamba City Police, said those hurt were 21 members of the Pepmaco Workers Union who were demanding regularization of their jobs at the Pepmaco Manufacturing Corporation, manufacturer of a popular detergent and shampoo brands.
Malinao added that 16 factory security guards were also slightly injured during the dispersal.
In an interview with INQUIRER.net, Malinao said around 100 security guards tried to disperse 80 protesting workers during the confrontation at the company’s premises at around 1:30 a.m. in Barangay Canlubang.
He said the emotions were “very high” during the dispersal, but both protesters and guards only suffered abrasions.
“Last Sunday some of them hindi na lumabas ng company premises, hinold na ‘yung gate, they took control of the gate ng company so dun na sila nagvigil,” he said.
Operatives of the Calamba City Police and the Laguna Provincial Field Mobile Company responded to the area and tried to defuse the situation.
Some of the injured protesters were rushed to nearby hospitals and will be assisted in filing legal actions once proper complaints are filed, police said.
Malinao said he had also relayed the incident to the local officer of the Department of Labor and Employment in Laguna.
Earlier, the Gabriela Women’s Party said it wants a congressional probe on the alleged labor violations of the company, including labor-only contracting practice and illegal dismissal of its workers.
INQUIRER.net has yet to receive comment from Pepmaco Manufacturing Company on the incident. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)
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