Po­lice van rams into pro­test­ers at anti-US rally

The Myanmar Times - - World -

A PHILIP­PINE po­lice van yes­ter­day rammed and ran over ba­ton­wield­ing pro­test­ers out­side the US em­bassy in Manila.

Po­lice used tear gas and trun­cheons to try to dis­perse hun­dreds of peo­ple who had gath­ered in sup­port of Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte’s re­cent com­ments that he wanted to loosen his na­tion’s al­liance with the United States.

A to­tal of 23 pro­test­ers were ar­rested, said Chief In­spec­tor Arse­nio Ri­parip, one of the of­fi­cers over­see­ing the in­ci­dent.

He said the pro­test­ers broke through the line of po­lice se­cur­ing the em­bassy’s gates.

“We had to dis­perse them. They were try­ing to en­ter the em­bassy,” Mr Ri­parip said.

“We had to use tear gas. They overpowered our po­lice­men.”

A po­lice van re­versed quickly back into a crowd of dozens of pro­test­ers and then for­ward, run­ning over at least two peo­ple and bang­ing into oth­ers, footage broad­cast by lo­cal tele­vi­sion net­work ABS CBN showed.

Pho­tos showed a grey-haired man af­ter­ward trapped un­derneath the sta­tion­ary van, with his leg and hips un­der one of the back tyres.

Manila po­lice chief Os­car Al­bay­alde con­firmed the po­lice van hit pro­test­ers but in­sisted the driver was not at fault.

“The ral­ly­ists were try­ing to flip over the pa­trol car. In the process, the driver ex­tri­cated the pa­trol car and in­ad­ver­tently hit some un­ruly pro­test­ers who sus­tained mi­nor in­juries.”

One of the protest lead­ers, Ami­rah Li­dasan, ac­cused the po­lice of start­ing the vi­o­lence.

“It was the po­lice who at­tacked the pro­test­ers. First they rammed the po­lice ve­hi­cle against the peo­ple. Then they re­leased tear gas and hit us with trun­cheons,” she said.

Mr Duterte has launched abu­sive tirades against US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and warned he may even­tu­ally cut ties al­to­gether, af­ter the US govern­ment raised alarm over thou­sands of peo­ple killed in Mr Duterte’s anti-drug cam­paign.

Mr Duterte is cur­rently in Bei­jing on a mis­sion aimed at im­prov­ing ties with China and at­tract­ing bil­lions of dol­lars of Chi­nese in­vest­ment to the Philip­pines. –

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.