Scores hurt in SONA protests


Posted at Jul 23 2012 08:31 PM | Updated as of Jul 24 2012 06:59 PM

MANILA, Philippines (1st UPDATE) - Dozens of police officers, protesters, and even members of media were injured when violence erupted Monday between militant groups and law enforcers securing President Benigno Aquino's 2012 State of the Nation Address.

Around 95 activists were injured while 4 journalists were wounded, initial reports said.

One of the injured victims was identified as Mike Gonzales, a cameraman of GMA 7, who was hit in the head with a rock allegedly coming from the protesters.

Twelve police officers were also injured in the clashes, according to Quezon City Police Director Mario dela Vega.

The protesters, reportedly from Anakpawis and Unyon ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA), allegedly threw rocks at the policemen after they were prevented from going near the Batasan Complex where Aquino was scheduled to deliver his third SONA.

They also tried to topple a police patrol vehicle.

Authorities used batons to try to disperse them.

More policemen were placed at the site of the clash to prevent members of the militant groups from going near the Batasang Pambansa.

Around 6,000 policemen were deployed for the event. – reports from Dennis Datu, dzMM; Atom Araullo and Doland Castro, ABS-CBN News