Today's Punto
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AT CLARK’S MAIN GATE
Protesters, cops build up camaraderie not conflict
By Ding Cervantes

Nov 14, 2017

CLARK FREEPORT - Militants protesting the ASEAN Summit and the presence of US Pres. Donald Trump peacefully ended yesterday, their three-day vigil at the main gate of this freeport marked only by the spectacle of three policemen doing some push-ups after they were caught smoking while on duty Monday night.

“They have frequently been asking us when we would end our rally because they said they were already tired standing, while us rallyists could sit on the grass,” Bagong Alyansang Makabayann (Bayan) regional chair Roman Polintan said in an interview.

“We consoled them by the fact that they receive regular food rations, while no one provides food for us. We eat only as much as each of us can aff ord,” he said.

Polintan said the only untoward incident during their vigil was caused by three police men who were caught smoking while on duty last Monday night.

“The three cops became the focus of our attention as they were scolded and did push ups as punishments for their off ense,” he recalled.

Some 200 Bayan members and supporters have been holding a vigil at Clark main gate here since last Sunday to protest the ASEAN summit and the presence of Trump.

The heads of states participating in the ASEAN and East Asian summits in Manila landed at the Clark International Airport here.

The leaders were initially slated to depart via Clark, but authorities announced yesterday they were departing via Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila.

Polintan said they had decided to cut short their rally up to noon time yesterday.

The protesters stayed on the western side of the road towards Clark’s main gates, where they kept themselves within the new yellow mobile fences set up by the police.

On the other hand, police with shields stood nearby under canvass sheets or trees to protect them from the sun’s heat.



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