Police, anti-WEF militants clash in Makati

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

(3RD UPDATE) Police teams on Thursday clashed with a group of militants near the venue of the three-day World Economic Forum (WEF) in Makati City.

Makati police chief Senior Superintendent Manuel Lukban said at least 100 members of the leftist group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) held a protest rally around 50 meters away from the forum's venue at the Makati Shangri-La hotel sans permit from local authorities.

A brief scuffle ensued as antiriot police pushed back the demonstrators towards the corner of Ayala Avenue and the southbound lane of Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (Edsa). It resulted in a massive traffic jam.

Lukban said four militants identified as Edhie Boy Pillada, 20; Jon Sto. Domingo, 38; Gabriel Lopez, 61; and Felix Reyes, 66; were put under the custody of the Philippine National Police - Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) unit in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City and will be charged with resisting arrest and physical injuries for allegedly hurting members of the antiriot police.

Among the demonstrators were Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes and the former Bayan Muna party-list representative Teddy Casino who said that government forces are stopping them to stage a program to hide the truth from WEF delegates.

"Ayaw nilang ipamukha na ang Pilipinas ay naghihirap na sa ilalim ng mga patakaran na isinusulong ng WEF na ito," he said.

Earlier, PNP spokesperson Senior Superintendent Wilben Mayor said they have maximized their resources by deploying more than 6,000 strong police forces on the roads as well as to secure points of convergence along activity areas in the Makati Central Business District.

The PNP also tapped the Makati City Police to establish police assistance desk strategically located near the Manila Peninsula Hotel, the Manila International Airport Authority, Metro Manila Development Authority and Makati Public Safety Assistance to ensure the smooth flow of traffic from Ninoy Aquino International Airport to the billeting areas of the delegates, Mayor said.

Mayor said they were targeting the zero-crime rate in the area where the "big event" is being held.

The 23rd WEF on East Asia coincides with the Young Leaders’ Meeting on May 19 to 20 and to the 10th Asean Finance Ministers Investors Seminar (AFMIS) on May 21 at the Shangri-la Hotel and Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati City, respectively. The WEF will run from May 21 until May 23.

The WEF is an international organization committed to improving the state of the world engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of the society to shape the global, regional and industry agendas. (Sunnex)

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