Be vigilant of ‘saboteurs,’ Robredo tells Labor Day demonstrators
MANILA, Philippines—Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo reminded protest leaders Monday to be watchful of “saboteurs” infiltrating their ranks on Tuesday’s protest rallies to mark Labor Day.
Although authorities will recognize protesters’ right to air their grievances against the government on Labor Day, Robredo said “it is also their duty to maintain peace and order and to be vigilant against saboteurs who may instigate violence among their ranks during the rallies.”
In anticipation of the rally, the Philippine National Police would deploy 4,000 to 5,000 police officers in various areas in Metro Manila, with at least 700 personnel—250 each from police regional office 3 (Central Luzon) and 4-A (Southern Tagalog), 100 from the Special Action Force, and another 100 from the Crowd Dispersal Management—to augment the strength of the existing police force if needed.
Robredo said engaging in violent demonstrations just to get a message across would be an “awful” thing protesters can do. “We should maintain peace and order during those rallies so that at the end of the day, everybody goes home unharmed,” he said.
PNP CDM units, Robredo further said, “should exercise vigilance and maximum tolerance” during rallies on Labor Day while concerned local government units contribute their share in maintaining peace and order in their localities.
Although no information of a particular terror threat to sabotage the celebration of Labor Day has been received, the PNP has heightened its alert level in anticipation of related protests rallies to be possibly joined by militant groups from the labor sector, youth, women, etc., in various parts of the country, as well as for possible attacks by communist insurgents on weak government targets. Jamie Marie Elona
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