Did rallyists attack policemen before the violent dispersal?

MANILA, Philippines - An anti-US rally held by leftists and indigenous groups in front of the American Embassy on Wednesday, October 19 has ended in violence after an official at the Manila Police District (MPD) reportedly ordered the violent dispersal of protesters.

Did rallyists attack policemen before the violent dispersal?

While many have blamed the cops for mishandling the situation, several other accused the rallyists of starting the commotion. Several photos of injured policemen and damaged government properties were posted online as proof that the protesters were the first to attack, contrary to claims that they were holding a peaceful rally.

The circulating photos show injured policemen with spray paints on their uniform as well as damaged government properties such as the MPD building and a mobile police van.

A certain Primitivo Basa commented that although he does not agree with what the police did, he lamented that the rallyists should have held a protest in a peaceful manner.

He wrote on Facebook: “Sumusobra nman kasi ang mga nagrarally na yan. Di tayo pabor sa ginawa ng pulis. Pero kumukulo ang dugo ko sa mga rallyist na yan. Hindi na rin tama ang ipinaglalaban nila. Pwede naman magpahayag ng kanilang saloobin,pero idaan nman ninyo sa mapayapang paraan.”

Facebook user Ken Canciller suspects that someone funded the rally and urged Filipinos to give policemen the benefit of the doubt.

“Sigurado meron nagpondo sa kanila, why do they need to rally when the President himself is pushing the independent foriegn policy, specially the timing that he's not around, imagine this is a newly form group na LUMAD at MORO brother daw natin ang kasapi pero yung representative nila matatas sa tagalog, we are not tolerating the action of the Policeman who drove the vehicle but just to give a benefit of the doubt:

1st they are vandalizing the property,
2nd they keep on pushing themselves up to the gate,
3rd they doesnt have a permit as per MPD say these kind of things was the same scenerio when the opposition want to destabilize the late Pres. Marcos before.

Something is really fishy.”

According to Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes, rallyists were about to wrap up the rally when MPD Col. Marcelino Pedrozo ordered a violent dispersal.

Several protesters were injured after the mobile van repeatedly drove back and forth through the crowd. The driver of the van identified as PO3 Franklin Kho was among the nine officers relieved from their post following the anti-US protest.

--Mini, The Summit Express

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