MANILA, July 5, 2011â€”Militant labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) assailed the Manila Police District (MPD) for the series of brutal dispersals of rallies at the Department of Labor and Employment in Intramuros, and the US Embassy, both in Manila on June 30 and July 4, respectively.
Elmer â€œBongâ€ Labog, chair of the KMU in a statement said the Benigno C. Aquino III government seems to be â€œtoo proudâ€ to show its cruelty against the people, openly criticizing the way it governs the country, in forms of violent dispersals.
â€œOn the June 30 rally, among the persons who suffered much injury are Aries Santiago and Eduardo Manipol. Aries, 22, has been hit twice, by a truncheon, on his left arm and one on his right. He was also hit on his head and on his upper leg, causing it to swell,â€ Labog said.
Manipol, Labog said, joined the rally to press for a substantial wage increase, as the P22 cost of living allowance is too little for him and his family to survive the onslaught of soaring prices of basic goods and services.
â€œEduardo, 52, a diabetic was dragged by several policemen to the sidewalk and get beaten there, using their truncheons. He suffered a fracture and a wound on his right arm. He joined the July 4 rally to condemn what he believes an indirect intervention of the US Government in the local affairs,â€ Labog added.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) meanwhile said that the number of people hurt during the July 4 riot between the demonstrators and the police reached 20. Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes Jr. said they are planning to file a lawsuit against the operatives of the Manila Police Department for the series of violent dispersals.
â€œThe first anniversary of Noynoyâ€™s presidency and the first Filipino-American Friendship Day under Noynoy were marked with violence and violations of the peopleâ€™s right to hold protests. As poverty and hunger worsens because of the Aquino regimeâ€™s anti-worker and anti-people policies, it is now using violence to quell peopleâ€™s mass actions,â€ the labor leader said.
However, Labog said that violent, even bloody dispersals, would not cow the workers under the KMU to flock to the streets on President Aquinoâ€™s State of the Nation Address (SONA) scheduled on July 25th.
â€œIf the Aquino regime thinks that it is scaring people away by unleashing police brutality against protestors, then it is gravely mistaken. Police brutality against protestors only angers the Filipino workers and people even more. We vow to hold ever-bigger protests in the coming months â€“ especially on Noynoyâ€™s State of the Nation Address on July 25,â€ Labog said. (Noel Sales Barcelona)