Protesting workers stopped from entering CDO, held for hours under the sun

Cagayan de Oro City. Map courtesy of Google

CAGAYAN DE  ORO (MindaNews / 01 May) — Police stopped a convoy of militant workers from entering the city to mark the International Labor day celebration on Monday, May 1.

Lt. Col. Evan Viñas, spokesperson of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office said armed policemen from their City Mobile Force stopped around 70 members of the militant Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) at the outskirts of Barangay Bugo, this city on Monday morning.

Viñas said the policemen asked the workers, who were riding motorcycles and other 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,” he told MindaNews by phone.

He said the order to monitor the movement of militant workers nationwide to secure highways and parks where they were expected to hold rallies came from the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame.

KMU spokesperson Teresita Hadman said the police allowed them to enter Cagayan de Oro at 10am Monday after holding them for three hours under the scorching heat.

“The police stopped our convoy around 6 a.m. and we endured more than four hours under the sun,” Hadman told DXIF Bombo Radyo.

The labor leader said the KMU workers only wanted to parade around the city in their vehicles, not to hold a rally.

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

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

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

She said the workers have every right to be on the streets on Labor day to celebrate and police officers should be aware of that. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)