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DCPO warns that Labor Day street protesters will be arrested

The Davao City Police Office warned organizers that any protest demonstrations they are planning for Labor Day today will be disbanded and participants arrested.

Col. Kirby John Kraft, the city police director, said that Davao City has always had a policy of maximum tolerance for any protest rallies on the streets. However, with the declaration of a public health emergency, all events that require mass gatherings are banned.

The prohibition is also outlined in the enhanced community quarantine, which will last until May 15.

“They can do the protest online, ” Kraft said. “Mass gatherings are prohibited.”

“Since we are under ECQ Mass gatherings are prohibited and violators will be apprehended,” he added.

In Davao City last year, authorities estimated around 300-500 rallyists who joined the Labor Day march.

Accordingly, this year Labor Day’s theme would center around the call for the government to adopt a medical-based solution on the pandemic instead of military solutions.

The DCPO is currently enforcing the protocols in the enhanced community quarantine, such as the implementation of social distancing, the prohibition of mass gatherings, wearing of face masks when in public, liquor ban, and curfew, among others, based on the series of executive orders on COVID-19.

The Kilusang Mayo Uno, the largest workers union in the country, has previously announced that they would hold a combination of virtual and street protests to mark Labor Day. Left-leaning groups believe that today’s rally would generate more participants due to the virtual nature of the event. Protesters are encouraged to hold a protest in their homes and post a video or live stream it on social media.

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