Police file criminal charges against 3 protest leaders after clash

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THE Manila Police District filed criminal charges against three protesters, two of them leaders, over the clash with police on Monday, the opening of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit on Monday.

Bayan Muna’s Teodoro “Teddy” Casiño, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr., and Neil Legazpi, 47, of Maaralin Street, Barangay Central, Quezon City are accused of violating Public Assembly Act, Breach of Peace, Assault Upon An Agent of A Person In Authority, and Disobedience and Resistance.

Legazpi was arrested as he was driving a blue Nissan Urvan with plate number NQN-437 that carried placards and protest paraphernalia. He was now under police custody.

Casiño, Reyes and Legazpi were accused of disturbing the peace during a protest rally on Monday, Nov. 13 at about 3 p.m. along United Nations Avenue where the clash erupted between the militants and police. At least 20 people were injured, protesters claimed. When told that the police prepared charges against them, Casiño and Reyes said they have yet to be informed.

But unlike Monday’s rally, Tuesday’s protest was peaceful, said Supt. Erwin Margarejo, MPD spokesman.

About 10 a.m., various militant groups, with about 1,200 members in attendance, marched to Chino Roces Bridge where they held a program.

The militants were hoping to get as close as possible to the venue of the Asean Summit, especially as the target of their protest, US President Donald Trump, is scheduled to leave the country later on Tuesday.

But police made sure that the protesters were limited to the bridge as the gate toward Malacanang and the road to the Palace were closed to traffic. The militant groups are composed of BayanMuna, Salinlahi, Gabriela, AnakPawis, Anak Bayan, Bayan, Kadamay, Balikwas, Lumad Moro, Courage, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Migrante, and Suara-Bangsamoro.

Meanwhile, some 200 members of Sanlakas who gathered at the corner of Vito Cruz Street, tried to march to the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) where the world leaders were for the summit but were stopped in front of the Rizal Memorial Coliseum, a few meters away from the PICC.

Some 300 anti-riot police were stationed at the corner of United Nations Avenue and Taft Avenue. Four trucks were placed along UN Avenue to prevent protesters to get near Roxas Boulevard where the US Embassy was located. JIM PILAPIL, ASHLEY JOSE

 

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