Violent dispersal is state terrorism, discrimination—minority group
A national alliance of Moro and indigenous peoples that participated in the anti-American rally in front of the US Embassy called the violent dispersal of protesters as a form of “state terrorism” and a “blatant act of discrimination.”
The Sandugo group denied claims that protesters provoked the policemen, which led to the incident that saw a police patrol car forcing its way back and forth through the crowd and running over several rallyists.
“Sandugo not only refutes reports blabbered by the Manila Police District that the ensuing violence was a result of provocation from the rallyists, we also go as far as branding this heinous incident as state terrorism–and a blatant act of discrimination against national minorities who compose majority of yesterday’s mobilization,” said Sandugo lead convenor Piya Macliing Malayao in a statement.
Malayao was one of at least three protesters hit and injured by the police vehicle. The groups, comprised mostly of minority alliances, were protesting against militarization in the provinces and foreign intervention.
“The brutal dispersal was an attack with impunity. It vividly shows how in the Philippines, police forces are not acting to serve and protect Filipinos, but their US overlords. The incident clearly shows how the US remains to be the real boss when it comes to state affairs,” she added.
Malayao called on President Rodrigo Duterte, who is in Beijing for a state visit, not only to hold the perpetrators accountable, but also to “aid national minorities in our call against imperialist plunder and domination.”
Duterte on Wednesday said he will order a probe on the violent dispersal and make an official announcement about the issue upon his return to Manila on Friday.
Pending investigation, nine Manila Police District officers were relieved from their posts on Thursday, including the driver of the police van and the ground commander who allegedly ordered the violent dispersal. CDG
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