PROTESTERS who will be found to have participated in the clash with policemen in Manila on Monday, the first day of the 31st Association of Southeast Nations (Asean) Summit, may be arrested and charged, Metro Manila Police Chief Oscar Albayalde said.
Albayalde issued the warning after militants tried to break through the phalanx of anti-riot police along Padre Faura Street near the United States Embassy along Roxas Boulevard.
“Protesters who would turn violent may be arrested and charged,” Albayalde said after members of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) used water cannons against the rallyists who retaliated by throwing bottled water at about 100 policemen who were deployed in the area.
Albayalde also said that two trucks were also parked to block the protesters from moving closer to the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City, one of the venues for the summit where President Rodrigo Duterte, US President Donald Trump, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and the other Asean leaders were meeting.
Members of Bayan Muna, Gabriela, Anakpawis, Kabataan, Act Teachers, Anakbayan, Migrante, Katribu, Kadamay, and Sandugo participated in the protest meant for United States President Donald Trump where more than 20 militants were injured, according to claims by Bayan Muna Secretary General Renato Reyes.
“More than 20 were injured at the Manila protest against [US President Donald] Trump. Police used water cannons on protesters. One activist was arrested. We condemn in the strongest terms the state fascism that has been imposed on Filipino protesters. The protests are justified. Trump is an enemy of the people,” Reyes said.
The injured were not identified.
Albayalde, for his part, assured Reyes that his men would enforce maximum tolerance.
The rally was made colorful with the protesters displaying an effigy of Trump and President Rodrigo Duterte.
Another protest rally was staged near Buendia Avenue and Roxas Boulevard, the closest to the the World Trade Center and the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City where the Asean meetings were being held.
Earlier on Monday, Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa said on that the PNP was keeping watch on protesters at the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit, as it has not monitored any terror threat.
“So far, we have not monitored any terrorist threat in our activities there in Asean [Summit],” de la Rosa said in a speech during the flag ceremony.
De la Rosa said only Asean protesters had been monitored.
“The [rallyists]are the ones we should monitor so that we could smooth out and prevent them from entering places of engagement in Asean,” de la Rosa said.
De la Rosa made it clear that the number of policemen assigned to each regional office in the country had been downsized.
“You must take note that the reinforcements that came from the regions are downsized. We required them to give 1,200 to 1,300 cops. They only sent 300 to 600,” de la Rosa said.
“Our preparations [for the Civil Disturbance Management (CDM) units]were downsized. If worse comes to worst, you must be ready to join the CDM if needed,” de la Rosa told reserve policemen.
De la Rosa said although police were on “full alert”, there may be a need to deploy the reserves in lockdown areas. JAIME PILAPIL, RJ CARBONELL, ASHLEY JOSE