MANILA, Philippines — A group of about 100 demonstrators had a confrontation with police on Friday in the vicinity of the U.S. Embassy in Manila.
The group marched to commemorate Philippine-American Friendship day and to decry the new defense pact between the two countries, which allows for thousands of U.S. troops to be temporarily based in the Philippines.
Calling the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement an “unequal agreement,” Vencer Crisostomo, chairman of the radical Anakbayan youth group, said that the pact signed in April is a “sellout of our national sovereignty.”
Crisostomo added that the pact will not act as a deterrent but will only serve to worsen tensions between China and the Philippines over territorial disputes of the South China Sea.
Former Congressman Teddy Casino, a member of the leftist New Patriotic Alliance, meanwhile, enjoined the Supreme Court to declare the defense pact unconstitutional.
“It’s not really about friendship. “It’s about exploitation, it’s about a neocolonial relationship,” Casino said of the pact.
Friday’s clash resulted in the injury of a policeman and a protester, as demonstrators forced their way toward the embassy and riot police resisted them with truncheons and shields.