Anti-Trump rallies leave at least 32 hurt

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Tensions escalate between protesters and police who use water cannons to disperse the crowd.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 12) — The anti-Trump protests in Manila on Sunday left at least nine protesters and 23 police officers hurt.

Around 5,000 members of militant peasant, labor, women’s rights, and farmers groups such as Anakbayan, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Gabriela and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas flocked to M.H. del Pilar St, and the United States Embassy  to denounce the arrival of U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump arrived Sunday for the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meetings and will be here until Tuesday.

READ: U.S. President Trump arrives in PH for ASEAN Summit

As protesters attempted to approach the US Embassy perimeter, a melee ensued. Three of the protesters sustained deep head wounds and were rushed to the Philippine General Hospital.

Latest reports from the Manila Police District said around 23 members of their Civil Disturbance Management (CDM) personnel were also hurt. Most of them received scratches.

The militant groups’ head physician, Dr. Joseph Carabeo, said the protesters were hit by police truncheons and shields while they were being barred from entering Roxas Boulevard.

Water cannons were also used on the protesters to disperse them.

Carabeo said they condemn the “brutality” and “violence” coming from the police.

Kung sinasabi niyong maximum tolerance, siguraduhin niyong maximum tolerance. Dapat yung police maglingkod sa sambayanan, sino ba ang binabantayan niyo? Trump at ang mga ASEAN,” Carabeo said.

[Translation: If you said maximum tolerance, make sure it’s maximum tolerance. The police should be in service of the people, who are they guarding? Trump and the ASEAN.]

The protesters claimed the country does not benefit from“one-sided” trade and security agreements with the United States.

Manila Police District Station 5 Chief, Superintendent Emery Abating claimed the police were assigned to defend their positions.

“Once na-establish na ng ating CDM (Civil Disturbance Management) personnel ang kanilang pwesto, then they would just defend that line. The rallyists would like to defend that kaya doon nagkakaroon ng clash,” Abating said Sunday.

[Translation: Once CDM personnel establish their place, they would just defend that line. The rallyists would also like to defend that and that’s why there are clashes.]

He added the use of water cannons was necessary.

Kung nagkaroon man ng tulakan at sakitan, it was provoked by the rallyists not by the policemen,” Abating said.

[Translation: If there was violence involved, it was provoked by the rallyists, not by the policemen.]

Around 33,000 police are deployed in Metro Manila from November 13 to 15 to enforce security during for the Summit.

Government forces were directed to be ‘snappy’ in carrying out security measures and counter-measures for traffic concerns and protest actions, said Catalino Cuy, ASEAN chairperson for the Committee on Security, Peace and Order, Emergency Preparedness and Response in a statement on Sunday.