MANILA - (UPDATE) A protest at the US Embassy turned violent Wednesday, but it was not immediately clear how the commotion ensued.
In a video taken by ABS-CBN News reporter Jerome Lantin, activists from Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) and various indigenous groups are seen attacking a police mobile at the height of the protest aimed at stopping "US intervention."
Police retaliated and ran over some protesters, as seen in the video. The activists ran for safety but several people were hit by the police vehicle.
"The dispersal at the US embassy happened as the rally was about to end. Last speaker na. It was planned and ordered by one Col. Pedrozo," claimed Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes in a Facebook post.
At least 10 people, including three students, were brought to the hospital, added Reyes.
He said "18 indigenous people and a member of the media were arrested" and brought to Manila Police District Headquarters.
Police Officer 3 Franklin Kho, who drove the police van, claimed protesters aimed at the vehicle and attempted to flip it over.
"Inaagaw ng mga raliyista yung sasakyan, kaya napilitan akong kunin yung sasakyan, kaya napaatras ko. Yun ang nangyari. Kami naman ang sasagasaan nila kung nakuha nila ito. Mas marami madidisgrasya sa amin."
[They tried to take the vehicle from us so I was forced to drive the car. We would have been hurt if they were able to get the vehicle. More people would have been hurt.]
Police used tear gas to disperse about 1,000 anti-U.S. protesters,
and also made 29 arrests at the rally, said Reyes.
"There was absolutely no justification (for the police violence)," Reyes said. "Even as the president avowed an independent foreign policy, Philippine police forces still act as running dogs of the U.S."
-- With Reuters