Militants, cops clash at Martial Law anniversary venue before PNoy's scheduled arrival
Tension marred the site of a Martial Law anniversary event in Quezon City that President Benigno Aquino III was scheduled to attend, after militants and police engaged in a shoving match near the area Friday noon.
Martial Law survivors light candles on Mendiola. On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Sept. 21, 1972 declaration of Martial Law, people who experienced the tumultuous years under the Marcos presidency lit candles at the foot of Mendiola Bridge for friends and loved ones who gave their lives to restore democracy in the PHL. Danny Pata
About an hour before Aquino was to arrive, some 50 members of urban poor group Kadamay marched toward the Bantayog ng Mga Bayani but were blocked by police, radio dzBB's Rowena Salvacion reported.
After several minutes of shoving, the police managed to get the militants several meters away from the venue. The militants then lay on the ground in protest, the report said.
Participants in the march called Aquino a "butcher of the urban poor" for allowing the continued demolition of their homes in urban poor communities, the report added.
The report said the marchers had come from Agham Road and supposedly planned to wait for Aquino to arrive. They allegedly planned to hurl red paint at the President.
But when police blocked the marchers near the corner of Quezon Avenue and Epifanio delos Santos Avenue, the shoving match started.
On Thursday, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority had advised a portion of EDSA near the Bantayog ng Mga Bayani was to be closed to traffic from 10 a.m. to about 2:30 p.m.
In its advisory, the MMDA noted Aquino was to attend the commemorative rites set to start at 1 p.m.
"Alternate routes to Quezon Memorial Circle and vicinity are East Ave. and North Ave," it said. — LBG, GMA News
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