Philippines travel advice

Supporters of Mayor Binay plan to continue sit-in outside Makati City Hall in Metro Manila, Philippines. Localized traffic disruptions possible.

This alert affects Metro Manila
This alert began 25 Jun 2015 21:39 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Jun 2015 23:59 GMT.

– Event: Political protest
– Location: Makati City Hall, Metro Manila
– Time Frame: Indefinite
– Impact: Localized transport disruptions Summary A political demonstration for Jejomar Binay, Jr., the mayor of Makati City, is likely to continue in the coming days, as his supporters demand the national Office of the Ombudsman end its attempt to suspend the politician. Around 1,000 Binay supporters gathered outside of Makati City Hall June 23, when the charges against the mayor and at least 14 other local officials were announced. Organizers have vowed to stage a sit-in at the location until the suspension is stopped.

Though the protest will probably remain peaceful, minor skirmishes cannot be ruled out, especially if police attempt to disperse the gathering. Expect an increased security presence near City Hall in Makati. Localized traffic disruptions are possible, particularly if additional supporters join the sit-in.

Background
The Office of Ombudsman alleges that the mayor and other officials benefited from the bid process for a high school in the city that was reportedly overpriced. The same office previously attempted to suspend the mayor from office in March on charges that he benefited from a similar scheme for Makati City Hall Building II. However, an appeals court ended that suspension following a similar demonstration that drew as many as 3,000 protesters at one point.

Participation in the current demonstration could temporarily swell, as some supporters are likely to visit the protest site to show support for the politician, but will not participate in the sit-in. It is possible that a court will not intervene on the allegations, and security forces may enforce the mayor’s suspension. Any attempt to remove the mayor and/or his followers will raise the possibility of clashes.

Advice
To the extent possible, avoid the demonstration. If operating in Makati, use alternate routes to avoid the immediate vicinity of Makati City Hall and allow additional travel time.

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