Violent dispersal of US Embassy protesters ordered by MPD exec—groups
An anti-American protest in front of the United States Embassy in Manila on Wednesday turned violent, with a police vehicle ramming into protesters and leaving several injured.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said the violent dispersal, which happened when the protest was about to end, was “planned and ordered by one Col. Pedrozo.”
“The violent dispersal at the US embassy happened as the rally ended and groups prepared to leave. There was no justification for it. Even as the president avowed an independent foreign policy, PH police forces still act as running dogs of the US,” Reyes wrote on his social media accounts.
In a statement, the SANDUGO group and Kabataan party-list said a certain Col. Marcelino Pedroso of the Manila Police District (MPD) allegedly gave the go-signal for the violent dispersal.
Sandugo said at least three protesters were hit and injured by the police vehicle, namely, its lead convenor Piya Macliing Malayao, Quenilyn Gromeo of Anakbayan-PUP, and Baling Katubigan, a 61-year-old Lumad woman from Kasalo, CARAGA.
The groups said 50 others suffered minor injuries from the scuffle.
Video footages showed protesters being ran over by what appeared to be a police mobile that moved back and forth. They were protesting against foreign intervention in support of the administration’s independent foreign policy.
Reyes said tear gas was also fired at the protesters, which included indigenous peoples and some students. He added that 21 individuals have been arrested and brought to the MPD following the dispersal, including a doctor, nurse, health volunteer and a member of the media.
Jerome Succor Aba, spokesperson of the Suara Bangsamoro group, condemned the violent dispersal and called on President Rodrigo Duterte to address the incident.
“We hereby condemn the Manila Police District, and call on President Rodrigo Duterte himself to address this enraging incident, which has even surpassed the water cannon incident yesterday at Camp Aguinaldo. Is this how the government treats its national minorities? Is this the answer to our plea to stand up for national sovereignty and protect the interests of national minorities from the claws of Washington?” Aba said.
Minority groups who joined the protest were part of the “Lakbayan ng Pambansang Minorya para sa Sariling Pagpapasya at Makatarungang Kapayapaan” across-the-nation caravan. RAM
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