MANILA, Philippines – Tension between police and the Philippine Airlines Employees' Association (PALEA) increased Wednesday as authorities attempted to disperse the protest camp set up by members of PALEA at the In-Flight Center of Philippine Airlines (PAL) along the airport road in Pasay City.
Sheriff Virgilio Villar, together with police officers, arrived around 3 p.m. to serve a demolition order.
PALEA members, however, refused to budge, citing a status quo order of Pasay Regional Trial Court Judge Ma. Rosario Ragaza.
Police began to tear down streamers and then tried to enter the camp but PALEA members stood their ground and refused to give way.
PALEA’s legal counsel Atty. Marlon Manuel arrived at the scene and negotiated with the police.
Police backed down around 5 p.m. No one was reportedly hurt in the incident.
PALEA called the police’s attempt to disperse them as illegal.
“We denounce in strongest terms the police for their demolition attempt. The police will have to face responsibility for their illegal act today. The power and money of Lucio Tan has influenced the Labor Department, the Office of the President, the Supreme Court and now as clear as day the PNP," said PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa Gerry Rivera, in a press statement.
PALEA members remain at the PAL’s In-Flight Center. Their strike is now on its 3rd week.