Filipino Youth Group Denounces Brutal Dispersal, Calls for Immediate Investigation
New Jersey- Filipino youth group Anakbayan New York/ New Jersey strongly denounce the brutal dispersal of a youth protest held yesterday at the Malacañang Palace, official residence of the Philippine president. Youth and student demonstrators held a peaceful lightning rally in front of the presidential palace to condemn Arroyo and her entourage’s controversial US-trip. The progressive youth group from Jersey city supports call for a just investigation of the Philippine National Police (PNP )and Presidential Security Group (PSG)personnel involved in the said incident.
“We are outraged by the exercise of violence by the PNP and members of the PSG. We support Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino’s resolution to call for an immediate investigation of those PNP and PSG personnel involved in the brutal dispersal of activists. They and their superiors must be held accountable for their acts of brutality,” said Anakbayan Deputy Sec. Gen. Yves Nibungco.
Videos and footages taken by the media show police and members of the Presidential Security Group snatching and taking turns in beating and dragging demonstrators.One photo even shows an enforcer in civilian attire kicking an already restrained activist in the face. According to Fil-am youth activists, the cruel acts of the Police are manifestations of state-sponsored violence.
“These security personnel and law enforcers are supposed to protect the citizens but it is clear that they were violating the right to peacefully assemble and air grievances. If they are capable of such brutality against the people in broad daylight and in the front of the media, what more horrible acts can they do when no one’s looking?” added Bea Sabino, a member of Anakbayan NY/NJ.
The said protest action was held in condemnation of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s most recent and controversial trip to the United States. Arroyo and her entourage reportedly spent over Php37 million in extravagant dinners and hotel stays in Manhattan and in Washington, D.C. This earned major disapproval from Filipinos back home and abroad.
“We call on our kababayans in New York and New Jersey to not let this incident pass. They already insulted our intellect by bombarding us with lies and alibis to cover-up the lavish trip, now they are brutalizing our brothers and sisters in the Philippines for telling the truth,” Ms. Sabino ended.
On Friday, August 21, Anakbayan New York/ New Jersey, together with allied organizations under Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-USA (BAYAN-USA) will be staging an indignation protest in front of the Philippine Consulate in New York at 3:00pm-4:00pm. These said protest is in condemnation of Arroyo’s lavish dinners and the brutal dispersal of the protest in Malacañang.###
Anakbayan New York-New Jersey
Anakbayan (in english: "children of the people") is a comprehensive Filipino youth organization that aims to build unity among all sectors of Filipino youth-- immigrant, US-born/raised, student, working, LGBT, women, artists, etc-- for the promotion of cultural awareness and the advancement of rights, welfare, and social justice. All Filipino youth are agents of social change, so we strongly encourage all Filipino youth to join Anakbayan and start serving the people! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com