Cops block activists on way to PMA graduation rites
FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City—About 30 militant activists demanding the ouster of President Aquino tried to force their way to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) graduation on Sunday but were blocked by the police just outside the main gate.
The activists, bearing placards declaring “Oust BS Aquino,” scuffled with about 50 truncheon-wielding policemen as the presidential car bearing Aquino left the camp after the graduation ceremonies.
The police pushed the protesters 15 meters away from the Fort Del Pilar entrance. Twelve students tore off their shirts to show anti-Aquino slogans written on their stomachs.
They then moved back toward Loakan Road where they tried to stop traffic by lying on the road. Moments later, they stood up and tried to march back to the PMA, only to be blocked by the policemen.
The activists fought back when police pulled down their placards and streamers. After cooler heads intervened, they were allowed to leave the area.
Heavy security attended the graduation of the PMA “Sinaglahi” Class of 2015. As early as 6 a.m., family members and friends of the graduating cadets and journalists were frisked as they entered Fort Del Pilar.
“Last year, activists also tried to protest here, so we came prepared on this graduation day,” said Senior Supt. Rolando Miranda, Baguio City police chief.–EV Espiritu
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