SOME 600 protesters attempted but failed to storm the United States embassy on Roxas Boulevard in Manila on Friday morning, a day after leftist lawmakers bolted from the majority coalition at the House of Representatives and warned of an emerging dictatorship under the Duterte administration.
Anti-riot police blocked members of militant groups Save Our Schools (SOS) and Kilusan ng Moro at Katutubong Mamamayan Para Sa Sariling Pagpapasya (Sandugo) on Kalaw Avenue and prevented them from crossing Roxas Boulevard.
The protesters burned an effigy of US President Donald Trump riding the effigy of President Rodrigo Duterte, accusing the latter of allowing greater US military interference in Mindanao.
“We allowed them to stage their program but of course we will not allow them to get near the embassy,” said Supt. Erwin Margarejo, spokesman of the Manila Police District, adding that 600 anti-riot policemen were deployed.
The protesters gathered at Kalaw Street around 9:30 a.m. and staged their program for three hours. They were limited to a portion of the street in front of National Library so as not to impede traffic flow in the area.
Moro leader Jerome Succor Aba claimed the US was going to build a permanent military facility in Marawi City after the battle between government troops and the Maute terrorist group.
“This way, the US will gain more military and economic control over pour resource-rich lands,” said Aba, citing the deployment of “Gray Eagle” drone during the Marawi war.
“The US-Duterte regime has allowed the foreign financial institutions like the World Bank to lead the rehabilitation of Marawi, pouring millions of dollars,” he added.
SOS spokesman Rius Valle said around 300 Lumad, the non-Muslim indigenous peoples of Mindanao, joined the rally to denounce mining projects of foreign investors.