MANILA, Philippines — Workers’ organizations and progressive groups have started gearing up for Labor Day protests on Monday, with programs planned along Mendiola in Sampaloc, Manila, and near the United States (US) Embassy on Roxas Boulevard.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said it stands with workers and their demands for fair labor practices and wage hikes, in the face of the high cost of goods and services.
“Kaisa ang Bayan sa panawagan para sa dagdag sahod para sa manggagawa. Susuportahan namin ang pagkilos sa darating na Mayo Uno, kasama na ang martsa at programa sa Mendiola sa umaga,” Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes said.
(Bayan is one with the workers in their call for additional wages. We will support the protest movements come May 1, including the march towards Mendiola and the program there in the morning.)
Bayan also condemned the scheduled meeting of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and US President Joe Biden, as the former is set to fly to Washington on Sunday.
“Pagkatapos ng programa sa Mendiola, pangungunahan naman ng Bayan ang martsa papunta ng US embassy sa Manila upang kondenahin ang magaganap na pagpupulong ni US President Joe Biden at ni Marcos Jr. Layon ng pulong na ito na pagtibayin ang katayuan ng Pilipinas bilang malakolonya ng US na ginagamit na tungtungan para sa imperyalistang agenda sa rehiyon,” Reyes said.
(After the program at Mendiola, Bayan is set to lead the march towards the US Embassy in Manila to condemn the expected meeting between US President Joe Biden and Marcos Jr. This meeting is intended to solidify the Philippines’ status as a seemingly US colony used to help the imperialist’s agenda in the region.)
“Dagdag na dayuhang tropa at dagdag na base militar sa Pilipinas ang hangad ng US. Mula 11:30 a.m. ang inaasahang protesta sa malapit sa US embassy,” he added.
(The US is looking to put more troops and bases in the Philippines. The protest near the US Embassy is expected to be held at 11:30 a.m.)
Fisherfolk group Pamalakaya meanwhile said that they will join the assembly along España Boulevard in Sampaloc at 8:00 a.m. on Monday before marching towards Mendiola.
Labor groups under the All Philippine Trade Unions (APTU) also said that over 10,000 workers from different sectors would troop to Mendiola on labor day to call for the end of contractualization.
Some of the groups under the APTU are Nagkaisa, Labor Coalition, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, and the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino. They too will join the march from España to Mendiola.
Earlier, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said they are ready to secure Labor Day protest rallies, with over 10,000 of its personnel deployed to strategic areas.
NCRPO chief Maj. Gen. Edgar Alan Okubo assured those who would join the rallies that they are not their enemies, adding that they would deal with protesters using “maximum tolerance.”
“We are not the enemies of the rallyists. I assure that the NCRPO is always ready to secure the public from any eventuality as well as guarantee that your police force will deal with those who will conduct rallies with maximum tolerance and utmost respect for human rights,” Okubo said.
“Consequently, I would like to remind the public regarding the ‘no permit, no rally’ policy except for freedom parks. Protesters must follow existing laws and ordinances to ensure the successful conduct of this event,” he added.
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