By JUSTIN UMALI
MANILA – Elements of the Philippine National Police dispersed the picketline of Peerless Products Manufacturing Corporation (Pepmaco) in Calamba, Laguna at around 11:30 a.m. and arrested at least 20 workers.
According to Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan (Pamantik-KMU), policemen forced 20 workers into the police mobile. The arrested workers are currently detained in the Calamba City Jail. As of press time, there are yet no details on the cases filed against them.
Myra Viray, one of the striking workers, told Bulatlat in a text message, “They simply arrested us and handcuffed us. We tried to ask for a warrant but they didn’t reply.”
A contingent of PWU-NAMFLU-KMU workers, including Viray, are currently in the National Conciliation and Mediation Board office in Calamba to protest the recent dispersal.
The dispersal violates Labor Department’s Operational Guidelines 40-G-03, which states that police and military units must be stationed at least 50 meters away.