3 Missing, 34 Hurt
in Mendiola Youth Rally Dispersal
BY JHONG DELA CRUZ
Posted 6:50 p.m. July 7, 2006
At least 34 youth
activists were hurt during a march-rally toward Mendiola when police
forcibly dispersed them. Six demonstrators remain unaccounted for as of
About 900 youth
belonging to Youth-DARE or Youth Demanding Arroyo's Removal tried to
reach Mendiola, the bridge leading to the presidential palace and
traditional venue of anti-government demonstrations, to protest the
government's renewed anti-insurgency drive.
At about 3 p.m.,
the protesters composed of students from 16 colleges in Metro Manila and
residents of three urban poor communities led by the Kabataan Party,
held a brief program at Morayta Street near España Avenue. After the
program, they marched near the University of Manila where some 20
policemen attacked them, rally leaders said.
Among those injured
was Juan Paolo Alfonso, student council chair of the University of the
Philippines-Diliman and Vencer Crisostomo, chair of the League of Filipino
Students. They plan to file formal complaints against the police.
Earlier, the groups
reported 10 youth protestors could not immediately be found, including
an eight-year old from a community in Sta. Mesa, Manila.
has come under fire upon announcement of the P1 billion fund to beef up
the government's anti-insurgency drive. The fund, said militant youth
groups, should have just been used to buttress the education sector.
"May pera sa gera, wala sa iskwela" (There is money for war but not
for education) was the main slogan during the protest action.
recent wave of abductions by suspected military agents of activists
include student victims: University of the Philippines students Karen
Empeño, 23, and Sherlyn Cadapan, 25, who were seized together with a
local farmer by unidentified armed men in Hagonoy, Bulacan on June 26.
This week, the
youth groups declared the youth's "all-out war" against the Arroyo
government, swearing to conduct more protest forms in the light of
intensifying human rights violations in the country. Bulatlat
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