KMU slams police brutality vs. SONA protest
Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned today the Aquino government for the police brutality which greeted protests in Commonwealth Avenue in time for Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s third State of the Nation Address, saying the Filipino workers and people have the right to make their voices heard.
More than 90 protestors were hurt and wounded when the police used truncheons against the protestors who tried to get closer to the Batasang Pambansa, where the president was delivering his speech.
“The Filipino workers and people have the right to make our voices heard. We have the right to get closer to the Batasang Pambansa to make the real state of the nation and our calls for reform heard,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“We condemn Pres. Aquino for setting arbitrary limits to the people’s freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. It’s clear that he will try to roll back these freedoms if the people won’t exercise and assert these,” he added.
“Pres. Aquino is so afraid that the workers and people will expose his claims of economic growth as lies. He does not care about demands for reforms coming from workers and poor people,” he said.
Progressive umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan applied for a permit for the protest, which the authorities refused to act on.
According to the National Union of People’s Lawyers, under Batas Pambansa 880, the application for permit is deemed granted if not acted on within 20 days.
“The police has no right to prevent the protestors from marching to the Batasang Pambansa. It has no right to use an excessive amount of force against the people who are exercising freedom of assembly and expression,” Labog said.
“It is hypocritical for Pres. Aquino to always condemn Martial Law and the Arroyo regime while carrying out Martial Law- and Arroyo-type repression of peaceful protests. He is trying to deceive the people in trying to project himself as the opposite of Marcos and Arroyo,” he added.
“As long as Pres. Aquino refuses to heed workers’ and the people’s calls for at least some form of immediate economic relief, protests will continue. With yesterday’s police brutality, the Aquino government has further exposed itself as an enemy of the people,” he said.