Mayor backs dispersal

MAYOR Sara Duterte has expressed support for the dispersal and the filing of criminal charges against protesting employees of a labor agency who were arrested on Monday.

“The protest has already compromised public interest. The protesters also ignored efforts to negotiate peacefully,” Duterte said in her statement.

The mayor said the city government “respects the right of its people to protest and it has not shown hostility to groups expressing dissent, even allowing them to take their actions to the streets and air their voices in public — even during these days when the city is under Martial Law.”

She further added that the police and the military have been ordered to always observe maximum tolerance in dealing with protesters and avoid the escalation of violence.

The incident, she said “demanded the application of urgent and appropriate police action, including the dispersal of the demonstration and the arrest of 10 protesters,” she said.


Mayor Duterte reminds everyone who might conduct protests in the future to:

1) not block the entrance and exit of establishments,

2) not to harass non-protesting employees and pedestrians and

3) not to cause traffic to motorists.

“Please note that while protesters can exercise their freedom to demonstrate, this does not give them the free pass to break laws and expect to just walk away from it,” Duterte said.

She added that the arrested protesters will be facing appropriate criminal charges in court.


Multiple charges

Criminal charges have been filed against the leader and nine other members of the protesters who were arrested in a labor strike in Barangay Bago Aplaya, Talomo District on Monday.

Chief Insp. Ronald Lao, the commander of Talomo Police Precinct, said they already endorsed to the Office of the City Prosecutors three charges against the union leader Sustines Bantayan, chair of Kilusang Manggagawa ng Coca-Cola (Kimaco), and union members.

Lao said they charged the respondents for violation of resistance and disobedience to a person in authority or the agents of such person (Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code), public disorder (Art. 153 of the RPC), and grave coercion (Art. 286 of the RPC).

Aside from Bantayan, others named in the charge sheets are Reynaldo Aman, Michael Ulan-ulan, Bryan Palera, Ricardo Sales, Romel Calacat, Anthony Bayawan, Jessie Montecillo, Alvin Bucat, and Ian Debalde.

The charges were submitted for summary inquest procedure before Prosecutor Delfin Suarez Jr.

Talomo police officers collared the respondents for allegedly blocking the entrance of the Coca-Cola FEMSA Plant in Barangay Bago Aplaya. The labor members reportedly resisted police order.

Coca-Cola workers staged a strike on Monday morning, demanding the reinstatement of 70 workers who were laid off by their agency last month.

According to the police, around 5:50 am on Monday, security personnel of Coca-Cola FEMSA, asked help after the terminated workers blocked the gate.



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