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Condemn The Arrest Of US Embassy 6! End US Balikatan Exercises!

The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) vehemently condemns the arrest of six students who participated in a Labor Day protest action near the US Embassy in Manila, Philippines.

Protesters were able to reach a few meters away from the US Embassy, and were about to start their program when police from the Manila Police District (MPD) violently hit those in the frontlines with batons and shields. Footages of the incident showed policemen pinning down a protester with brute force. The six individuals were seized in the ensuing commotion. As of this press release, the victims remain in detention.

“We utterly condemn the excessive use of force by the Manila police. It is a blatant violation of the right to peaceful assembly. It is also an insult to the toiling masses of Filipino workers who were rightfully voicing their demands including a decent living wage on Labor Day,” said Peter Murphy, ICHRP Global Chairperson.

Thousands of workers along with other sectors marched in the streets of Manila to demand for higher wages, job security, and national sovereignty but were blocked and not allowed to reach the historic Mendiola bridge. Through the National Wage Coalition, workers demanded a wage increase of not less than P150 ($2.61) a day.

Afterwards, protesters led by Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Movement) and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (New Patriotic Alliance) marched towards the US Embassy in Manila to condemn Marcos Jr.’s charter change, the US military intervention through the ongoing Balikatan exercises, and China’s transgressions on Philippine territory in the West Philippine Sea.

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“Just like the students, ICHRP stands with the Filipino workers on their just demands for a decent wage increase. We demand the immediate release of the six illegally arrested and detained students. We call on the Philippine government to respect their rights, drop the charges, and to hold accountable police officers who illegally arrested, caused physical injuries, and detained the students. We reiterate our call to stop the Balikatan exercises and end US intervention in the Philippines,” concluded Murphy.

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