Solidarity message intal on violent dispersal Philippines

Intal condemns in the strongest possible way the violent dispersal by the police of indigenous and peasant communities protesting in front of the US embassy last October 19th in Manila, Philippines.

According to local reports many were injured after being overrun by a van driven by a member of the Philippines National Police in an effort to disperse the protesters. The dispersal happened at the end of the rally and as protesters were preparing to leave. These protesters, who were mainly members of the Indigenous communities, supported by many youth activists were calling for the end of the plunder, the US intervention in the country, the militarization of their communities and for the respect of their basic human rights. They are part of the “Lakbayan ng Pambansang Minorya para sa Sariling Pagpapasya at Makatarungang Kapayapaan,” a caravan of minority groups from across the country.

After the incident, 21 protesters were arrested by the PNP.

In a statement, the SANDUGO group and Kabataan party-list said a certain Col. Marcelino Pedroso of the Manila Police District (MPD) allegedly gave the go-signal for the violent dispersal.

According to the National Union of Peoples Lawyers (NUPL) the said dispersal is a clear violation of the constitutional right of the people "to peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances".

Intal defends the respect for basic human rights for all and holds international solidarity at its’ heart. We thus deplore these recent acts of violence and this blatant use of force. We strongly support the NUPL statement and underline the fact that holding a peaceful demonstration is not infringing the law. It is thus crucial that the PNP and other local authorities respect this basic right of the people. Intal also supports the demand of the peasants and minority groups for an immediate end to the military occupation of their communities.

More info here: "Violent dispersal of US Embassy protesters ordered by MPD exec groups"