PNP on May 1 alert

Oscar D. Albayalde

THE Philippine National Police went on full alert to ensure peace and order amid  planned Labor Day protest rallies today as PNP chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde called on demonstrators to police their own ranks and watch out for possible “infiltrators” from the New People’s Army who may try to instigate violence within their groups.

“I’m appealing to the public to watch for possible NPA infiltration during the May 1 rallies. As usual, they (NPA) will try to infiltrate the Labor Day demonstrations and try to instigate violence and take advantage of the situation. Let this be a warning to all, the PNP chief said.

According to the country’s top cop, police would be guarding against the presence of any armed groups in today’s demonstrations specifically those from the leftist movement. “They are expert on that. They will even sacrifice their own as proven in the past like those in Luisita and Kidapawan incidents. Let this be a wake-up call to everybody. They are resorting to deception and they are very good on that,” Gen. Albayalde said.

Police went on maximum alert nationwide and were told to be on guard against possible “hostile actions” from lawless elements including the NPA since historical data shows that NPA rebels are known for launching hostile actions during similar occasions, including infiltration and agitation in mass actions, sabotage of public assemblies, and armed attacks on isolated government posts and vital installations in the countryside.

On Monday, the PNP chief met his top officials to thresh out various matters including security preparations for the nationwide observance of Labor Day.

“While Labor Day is supposed to be celebrated to pay fitting tribute to Filipino workforce, it has been historically marred by protest actions and public assemblies, often initiated by militant labor and cause-oriented groups,” he said.

Gen. Albayalde said that consistent with national policy, the PNP will support all lawful and peaceful activities in commemoration of Labor Day, but only within the bounds of law.

A sizable security contingent will be fielded to ensure order and security in all places of engagement, he said. The policy of maximum tolerance will be strictly observed by police security forces particularly in Metro Manila where security measures will be spearheaded by the National Capital Region Police Office headed by Major General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar who said that around 3,000 policemen will be deployed to secure the rally sites.

PNP spokesman Colonel Bernard M. Banac assured the Labor Day protesters that the PNP would “extend full cooperation and support to participants in projected mass actions only within the bounds of law.”

The PNP will be deploying videographers to document the actions of their personnel, as well as those of groups during mass actions. “We can tolerate lawful expressions and peaceful assemblies, but, will never compromise the rule of law and the right of the majority to feel safe, secured and convenient,” the NCRPO chief explained.