A police van rammed into protesters as an anti-U.S. rally turned violent outside the American embassy in the Philippines capital Manila on Wednesday. The vehicle repeatedly rammed the demonstrators as it drove wildly back and forth after they had surrounded and started hitting the van with wooden batons. At least three student activists were taken to a hospital after they were run over by the vehicle driven by a police officer. “We had to disperse them. They started it. They were trying to enter the embassy,” said Chief Inspector Arsenio Riparip. “We had to use tear gas. They overpowered our policemen.”
They weren’t really run over. The rallyists were trying to flip over the patrol car. In the process, the driver extricated the patrol car and inadvertently hit some unruly protesters who sustained minor injuries
Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde
Trouble flared as hundreds of people who had gathered in support of president Rodrigo Duterte’s recent comments that he wanted to loosen his nation’s alliance with the U.S. One of the protest leaders, Amirah Lidasan, accused the police of starting the violence. “It was the police who attacked the protesters. First they rammed the police vehicle against the people. Then they released tear gas and hit us with truncheons,” she said. Police made 29 arrests at the rally, which came as Mr Duterte was visiting China on a mission to strengthen ties with Beijing.
There was absolutely no justification. Even as the president avowed an independent foreign policy, Philippine police forces still act as running dogs of the U.S
Renato Reyes, secretary general of left-wing activist group Bayan