5,000 cops to be deployed in Metro for Monday’s transport strike

MANILA, Philippines – Some 5,000 police officers will keep the peace on major thoroughfares in Metro Manila during planned transport strike to be led by the Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (Piston) on Monday, a spokesman for the Philippine National Police said Saturday.

The PNP, through the Directorate of Logistics, will also deploy buses, trucks, and troop carriers to assist commuters affected by the transport strike, Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz Jr. said.

PNP chief Nicanor A. Bartolome instructed local police commanders to dialogue with leaders of Piston to coordinate the movement of its motorcades, marches or other mass actions.

“All police regional offices, particularly in Luzon, were directed to place their respective civil disturbance management contingent on the highest state of operational readiness to respond to any contingency,” Cruz said.

Piston announced it was pushing through with the strike after a dialogue with the President and top government officials failed to reach an agreement. The strike is in protest of continued increases in fuel prices and is also intended to pressure the government into reimposing price controls.

Cruz assured the leaders and organizers of the strike of “maximum police assistance” by ground units to ensure there would be no disorder.

But he also cautioned mass-action organizers and participants against resorting to coercion and violence.

“Any activity bordering on anarchy and violence will be addressed with the appropriate police action,” he said in a statement.

“Illegal assembly, obstruction of traffic, street bonfires unruly behavior and coercion of unsympathetic drivers are specifically prohibited and will be dealt with accordingly,” Cruz said.

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