Group takes protest to Aquino’s home; slams military presence in Bondoc PeninsulaBy Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines–Protesters from Quezon province trooped to President Benigno Aquino III’s house on Times Street in Quezon City before noon Monday to protest the allegedly growing numbers of soldiers in their communities.
The protesters, who said they were from the “Save Bondoc Peninsula Movement,” families who have fled the Bondoc Peninsula, claimed that communities there fear for their safety with the supposedly increasing military presence.
Calling themselves “bakwet” (slang for evacuees), they said they were forced to leave not because of storms and floods, but because of soldiers in their communities.
“Batallions of soldiers are in Quezon province now, even surpassing the storms ‘Gener’ and ‘Ondoy’ in disturbing the lives and safety of families,” said their spokesman, Orly Marcellana.
Marcellana said the families have been evacuating since last year due to alleged human rights violations that supposedly began with the deployment of soldiers.
According to Superintendent Pedro Sanchez of the Masambong police station, the protesters stayed on Times Street for an hour and left around noon.
The protesters voluntarily dispersed without any violent confrontation with the police, Sanchez added.