Cebu cops exercise ‘extreme tolerance’ vs anti-ASEAN protesters

CEBU CITY — Police on Wednesday said they exercised “extreme tolerance” to protests staged by militant groups near one of the venues of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit meetings in Cebu City.

According to Sr. Superintendent Joel Doria, Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) director, the police blocked some 30 members of Bayan Muna from entering the premises of Radisson Blu Hotel on S. Osmena Jr. Avenue in Cebu City at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Doria said the police allowed them to hold a brief rally in front of the hotel where some ministerial meetings were going on.

”They (protesters) don’t have a permit, but their protest rally was peaceful,” he said.

Doria said the group voluntarily dispersed after 15 minutes.

The Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 has placed on standby some 200 members of the Civil Disturbance Unit (CDU) to deal with protests against ASEAN ministerial meetings.

Chief Superintendent Noli Talino, PRO-7 director, said they received intelligence information that some groups are out to disrupt the meetings.

Talino earlier said some 5,400 personnel from the police, military and force multipliers have been deployed to secure all the venues of the ASEAN meetings, including the hotels where the delegates are staying and the routes from the hotels to the venues.

At least 10 vessels from the Philippine Coast Guard and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources have been deployed to the seas off Mactan, near some of the venues of ASEAN meetings, as part of security measures.