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PNP cautions public on joining Labor Day protests

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By Martin Sadongdong

The Philippine National Police (PNP) warned the public Monday about joining rallies on Labor Day, May 1, as suspected rebels might infiltrate cause-oriented groups to wreak havoc and disrupt peace and order.

PNP Chief Dir. Gen Oscar Albayalde, speaks during a press conference about the recently concluded Barangay and SK Election 2018, at the PNP National Election Monitoring Center (NEMAC) at Camp Crame in Quezon City, May 15 2018. (Mark Balmores / MANILA BULLETIN)

PNP Chief Police General Oscar Albayalde (MARK BALMORES / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Police General Oscar Albayalde, PNP Chief, said around 3,000 policemen will be deployed in the National Capital Region (NCR) alone where most of the protests are expected to be held.

A sizable security contingent will be fielded in other parts of the country to ensure order and security in all places of engagement, he stated.

According to Albayalde, while Labor Day is supposed to be celebrated to pay fitting tribute to Filipino workforce, it has been historically marred by protest actions and public assemblies often initiated by militant labor and cause-oriented groups.

“Consistent with national policy, the PNP will support all lawful and peaceful activities in commemoration of [the] Labor Day but only within the bounds the law,” he noted.

Albayalde further revealed they received intelligence information that suspected members of the New People’s Army (NPA) were planning to join the May 1 rallies.

“Kaya po tayo nagbibigay babala sa publiko na gusto sumali sa rally, ito ang gusto nila na may masaktan na iba. They will take advantage of that situation and blame it to the government. They take advantage of people dahil gawain po nila ‘yan (This is why we are warning the public who wants to join the rally, they want to hurt you. They will take advantage of that situation and blame it to the government. They take advantage of people because that’s what they do),” he stressed.

“Let this be a warning sa mga kababayan na nagjo-join ng rally. Hindi po lahat ‘yan ay cause-oriented. May armado dyan na nakatago. Sometimes they will sacrifice their own para magkagulo. Huwag tayo maniwala sa mga propaganda na ‘yan (Let this be a warning to the people who are joining the rally. Not all of them are cause-oriented groups. There are armed persons hiding in their groups. Sometimes they will sacrifice their own [members] to create fight. Let us not be fooled by this propaganda),” he said.

Meanwhile, the PNP Chief reminded the police to observe maximum tolerance when dealing with the protesters.

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