A new memorial dedicated to the Philippines "comfort women" forced into Japan's military brothels before and during World War II was removed Friday night, days after suspicions surfaced that it was being targeted for demolition.

The bronze statue of a blindfolded Filipino woman, erected in December, was removed from Roxas Boulevard in Manila. Workers left behind only debris fenced in by makeshift barriers.

Around two weeks ago, a Department of Public Works and Highways backhoe was seen parked beside the memorial, sparking speculation that it was to be demolished.