Police Block Marcos Loyalists from Rallying With AM-Philippines-Kidnap, Bjt
MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ Riot police chased supporters of deposed President Ferdinand E. Marcos around a downtown Manila park on Sunday to prevent them from holding a rally.
Annie Ferrer, a model who was among seven protesters detained briefly by police, said the protesters had planned to take an oath of loyalty to the politician who staged a 38-hour rebellion in Marcos’ name one week ago.
More than 500 Marcos loyalists, chanting ″Marcos again 3/8,″ tried five times to assemble in Rizal Park, across from the Manila Hotel where Arturo Tolentino proclaimed himself acting president in the July 6-8 rebellion.
But about 200 policemen with bamboo sticks dispersed the protesters each time.
″Get out 3/8 Go home 3/8 This is an illegal assembly 3/8,″ one police officer shouted through a bullhorn.
There were no clashes. Police said they picked up seven people for questioning, but released them. Reporters saw four other protesters being taken into a police jeep earlier, but police said they had no record of the arrests.
President Corazon Aquino has banned any rallies called to support Tolentino’s claim to the presidency.
The former senator and foreign minister was Marcos’ running mate in the fraud-tainted Feb. 7 election. He took an oath as acting president July 6 at the hotel, then holed up there with about 300 rebels. They withdrew peacefully early last Tuesday after Mrs. Aquino gave them an ultimatum to surrender.
Mrs. Aquino took power in February in a military-civilian revolt triggered in part by the Marcos-controlled National Assembly’s declaring him the winner of the Feburary election. Mrs. Aquino said she won the election.
Before police finally cleared the park of protesters, one loyalist snatched a two-way radio from a woman reporter and fled into the crowd. When the reporter gave chase, four other loyalists blocked her path, tried to grab her bag and accused her of being an Aquino supporter.
Ms. Ferrer, who frequently attends pro-Marcos rallies, told Manila deputy police chief Col. Edgar Dula Torres that she had come to the park to jog, not demonstrate.
″Thats why I’m in shorts today, we’re going jogging,″ Ferrer said.
But he replied, ″Tell your friends, we’ll give them 25 minutes″ to leave. Minutes later, police took Ms. Ferrer away when she tried to enter the Manila Hotel, which had closed its gates.
She later told reporters about the oath-taking plans.