ABOUT 200 members of various progressive groups in Negros Occidental were stopped by policemen when they attempted to proceed to the Bacolod public plaza to hold a protest against President Rodrigo Duterte.
Duterte was the guest of honor during the 38th Masskara Festival highlights in Bacolod City Sunday.
A group of protestors positioned at the South Capitol Road to prepare for their program in front of a mall on Gatuslao Street when they were blocked by the Civil Disturbance Management (CDM) team deployed by Police Regional Office (PRO)-Western Visayas.
They called on Duterte to act on the problem of unemployment, demolition, wage increase, imperialism and to give justice to victims of extrajudicial killings, among others.
Superintendent Gilbert Gorero, spokesperson of PRO-Western Visayas, said they negotiated with the protestors to allow them to hold a protest action on Gatuslao Street.
The negotiation failed because the group was not able to wait for the approval.
Militant group leaders wanted to talk to Chief Superintendent Cesar Binag, director of PRO-Western Visayas, for another negotiation, but they still failed to come up with an agreement.
This prompted the protesters to aggressively get through the barricade of policemen.
A commotion ensued between the policemen and the protestors when the latter insisted to proceed to the public plaza.
They decided to disperse when another group was able to reach the area near the public plaza.
Protestors from the South Capitol Road were able to join their other members near the public plaza. However, they were also blocked by another group of policemen.
They waited for hours, but they decided to disperse eventually.
Gorero said they exerted effort to sustain maximum tolerance to avoid violence.
Policemen were deployed in areas where possible lightning rallies and other protest actions can be conducted.
“We have assigned policemen in strategic places for intensified security,” Gorero said.