labor rights

Cops hold parading workers for hours in Cagayan de Oro

Froilan Gallardo

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Cops hold parading workers for hours in Cagayan de Oro


The workers only want to parade around Cagayan de Oro and not hold a rally, says the Kilusang Mayo Uno

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Authorities stopped a convoy of workers from entering the city proper and held them for hours as the country marked International Labor Day on Monday, May 1.

Law enforcers invoked an order supposedly from the Philippine National Police (PNP) leadership.

Lieutenant Colonel Ivan Viñas, spokesperson of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office, said policemen from the City Mobile Force stopped around 70 members of the militant Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) at the outskirts of Barangay Bugo on Monday morning.

Viñas said the policemen asked the worker-activists who were riding motorcycles and vehicles to alight and present their identification cards and barangay clearances.

“After they were all checked out, we allowed them to enter the city more than an hour later,” Viñas told Rappler by phone.

Viñas said the order to monitor the movement of militant workers came from the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame which ordered the police nationwide to secure highways and parks where workers were expected to hold rallies.

KMU spokesperson City Hadman said the police allowed them to enter Cagayan de Oro at 10 am after holding them for four hours under the scorching heat of the sun.

“The police stopped our convoy at around 6 am and we endured more than four hours under the sun,” Hadman told local broadcaster DXIF-Bombo Radyo.

Hadman said the KMU workers had only wanted to parade around the city and had no plan to hold a rally.

She said they had also planned to go to the regional office of Department of Labor and Employment on Corrales Avenue to meet with government officials and air their grievances.

Lawyer Beverly Musni of the Union of People’s Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM) criticized the police for holding the workers and demanding their identification cards.

“The police officer who led the blocking of the convoy had covered his name tag to hide his identity. Yet he demanded to know the identities of the workers,” Musni said.

Musni said the workers had every right to be on the streets on Labor Day to celebrate and police officers should have been aware of that. –

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