Indignation over violent dispersal in Manila reaches Pinoys in HK


HONG KONG — Indignation over Wednesday’s violent dispersal of protesters near the US Embassy in Manila has reached Hong Kong, with human rights and peace advocates holding a picket at the Philippine Consulate General on Thursday.

Some 30 Filipino and foreign protesters, including Indonesian migrant workers and Hong Kong people, joined the picket, some carrying placards showing the pictures of the policemen blamed for the violence with the word ‘WANTED.’

Hong Kong lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung also joined the picket.

In a statement, the Hong Kong Campain for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (HKCAHRPP) said the “brutality of the police force, as caught on videos and pictures, is most contemptuous and showed the shallow regard of these beasts in uniforms to human rights and the search for a just peace for the country.”

Violence erupted during Wednesday’s rally at the US Embassy, highlighted by the scene — as caught on video — where a police patrol car rammed a group of protesters, hurting a number of people.

Nine Manila policemen have already been relieved from their posts pending results of the ongoing investigation.

Senior Supt. Marcelino Pedrozo, who headed the policemen on the ground, denied ordering the dispersal despite a video showing him directing his men to fight and castigating them for letting the protesters reach the embassy area.

HKCAHRPP said the protesters were raising “legitimate grievances and are actually supporting the direction of independence in foreign relations as indicated by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.”

Leung, for his part, urged Duterte to order the arrest of the police official who was in charge during the dispersal.

“I urge, I urge the Filipino president to take action… [and] he should give the order to arrest the police commander who was responsible,” he said. —KBK, GMA News