“Last night’s display of police brutality shows clearly who the real terrorists are in this country.”
Thus said Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Liza Maza, condemning the brutality with which the Manila Police dispersed protesting workers from Southern Tagalog last night.
“There can be no excuse for this barbaric act that once more puts the international human rights spotlight into the Philippines. Police continuously punched and pounded on as they dragged protesters whose hands were already raised and begging for them to stop. Col. Rosales and his dispersing unit should be held accountable,” said Rep. Maza.
At least 17 were seriously injured and brought to the Philippine General Hospital and the Ospital ng Maynila. All 5 protesters brought to the Ospital ng Maynila have been brought to the Manila Police District. Several others suffered minor cuts and bruises.
Marlon Torres of the Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan (Pamantik-KMU) who was shown on TV footages being dragged by the Manila PNP, was assessed to be under critical condition at the Ospital ng Maynila but was forcibly discharged this morning and taken to the Manila Police District Headquarters.
“The Philippine National Police should explain their standards and methods of crowd dispersal. Certainly this is not how a healthy democracy works and forebodes how the PNP could respond to future rallies, especially since more and more protest actions are being organized in the midst of calls for Mrs. Arroyo’s resignation. ”
“Last night’s violent dispersal will not cow women from participating in the rally tomorrow, international women’s day. On the contrary we feel this will further fuel the public display of outrage against social injustices, corruption and human rights violations that Mrs. Arroyo perpetuates.” #