Police used water cannons to prevent protesters breaking into the American Embassy in Manila today (Saturday, February 25).
The clash broke out after protesters marched from Kalaw Avenue to the embassy as part of a rally to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the People Power Revolution.
At least two protesters suffered minor injuries, police said.
Superintendent Emery Abating was the officer in command who ordered the water cannons to be deployed. He said: “If we did not do that, they won’t calm down.
“We needed to splash them and the police with water so their temper can cool down.
“They just got wet, the water was not directed at them.”
He added that otherwise the demonstration was “generally peaceful”.
However, Carlito Badion, spokesman for the National Alliance of the Filipino Urban Poor, which organised the protest rally, was critical of the police action.
“The police did not do the right thing since we were just expressing our opinion about the oppression of foreign countries and their exploitation of our resources,” he said.
Last year an angry protest outside the embassy culminated in a police vehicle ploughing into the crowd, mowing several people down. Remarkably, none were seriously injured.
This year’s EDSA Revolution commemoration has revealed deep divisions within the country, with rival rallies representing pro and anti government factions.