CEBU CITY, Philippines (AP) _ About 170 demonstrators were arrested Wednesday after defying an order to end a protest against the alleged military abduction of a Roman Catholic priest.

Police in a military truck hauled off chanting protesters after they refused the mayor's order to disperse after sundown.

Constabulary Capt. Gerry Barias said the demonstrators, including three Catholic priests, would be charged with illegal assembly.

The protesters had camped outside constabulary headquarters since Sunday to protest the July 11 disappearance of the Rev. Rudy Romano in Cebu City, 350 miles southeast of Manila.

Church leaders say Romano, a member of an alliance opposing the government, was riding a motorcycle when gunmen abducted him and shoved him into a car bearing government plates.

The military denies it, saying Romano may have staged the abduction to embarrass the government.