Police caught napping while vandals attack US Embassy

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A handful of riot police try to push back protesters who defaced the seal of the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines during a rally early Monday April 16, 2012 to coincide with the opening of the annual joint military exercise dubbed "Balikatan 2012" or Shoulder-to-Shoulder between U.S. and Philippine troops. The protesters are also calling for the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement which allows the U.S. troops' presence in the country. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Activists protesting Balikatan, the annual Philippine-US military exercises, on Monday hurled paint-filled balloons at the American seal of the US Embassy in Manila and removed some of the letters of its signage using crowbars.

In Floridablanca, Pampanga province, other activists also picketed Basa Air Base of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) as part of a nationwide protest by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) against the joint exercises.

Elsewhere in Pampanga, at least 700 Bayan members gathered at the Nepo Mall grounds and Barangay Marisol in Angeles City and at Barangay Dau in Mabalacat town for a march to  Clark Freeport, formerly Clark Air Base, one of Balikatan’s sites.

They were blocked by Clark security personnel and antiriot policemen at the free port’s main gate, which was protected by barricades made of barbed wire. Only two lanes were open to motorists.

Surprise

The early morning attack took Manila Police District (MPD) personnel by surprise. By the time antiriot policemen responded, what was left of the signage read: “.m.as.. of the .ni.ed S.ates of .merica.”

The vandalism led to the relief of the Luneta Police Community Precinct (PCP) commander and a policeman caught sleeping inside a patrol car while the protesters staged their lightning siege.

Apart from the administrative relief of the police official and the sleeping policeman, the MPD is set to file a charge of malicious mischief against the protesters responsible for the vandalism.

Before 6 a.m.

Some 50 members of  League of Filipino Students (LFS),  Anakbayan, Anakpawis and National Union of Students of the Philippines staged a rally at the embassy on Roxas Boulevard in Ermita before 6 a.m.

Seeing no sign of policemen in the area, the groups started hurling red and blue paint-filled balloons at the US Embassy emblem after which a number of LFS members used a crow bar to peel off several of the bronze-embossed letters from the signage.

Guards helpless

Other protesters sprayed “US Troops Out Now” across the main gate and scrawled other anti-American presence sentiments across the walls while embassy security guards helplessly watched the acts of vandalism. The groups likewise burned an American flag.

By the time personnel of the MPD Ermita Police Station arrived, they were outnumbered by the protesters who continued to remove letters from the signage unhampered before voluntarily dispersing.

Sleeping on job

It was learned that while the groups were defacing the signage, a patrol car (mobile 374) was parked across the US Embassy with its lone occupant deep in slumber.

The protesters had been long gone before the policeman woke up and drove away, apparently unaware of what had happened during his watch.

Luneta commander relieved

Senior Superintendent Robert Po, the MPD deputy director for operations, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the district had relieved Chief Inspector Luis Guisic, the Luneta PCP commander. Guisic is set to be administratively charged with negligence for command responsibility over his men’s failure to respond immediately to the protest.

“I have also summoned the policeman who was caught sleeping on the job and asked him to explain,” Po said, adding that the policeman will also face an  administrative charge.

Footage

Po said the MPD was studying security-camera footage to identify those responsible. “Those identified will be charged with malicious mischief. Even their leaders, who are identified, will be included in the criminal charge,” he told the Inquirer.

Security was beefed up at the US Embassy to prevent the recurrence of the protest.

In Floridablanca town, Bayan leaders said there were some 400 protesters but the local police placed the number at less than 200.

Blocked

About 50 PAF personnel blocked the base’s main gate when the activists arrived at 11:20 a.m. A fire truck was seen near the gate.

The protesters painted anti-Balikatan slogans, such as “US troops out now,” “No to Balikatan,” and “Junk VFA (Visiting Forces Agreement),” on the concrete fence of the base in San Jose village.

The PAF did not disperse the protesters who held a brief program condemning the military exercises.

“The Balikatan is but part of a bigger design to make US troops permanent fixtures in the Philippines, even without any formal basing treaty,” Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said in a statement.

“We duly respect their freedom of expression and we congratulate them for the peaceful rallies,” said Lieutenant General Anthony Alcantara, Norther Luzon Command  chief.

On Sunday, the eve of the anti-Balikatan protests, police in Angeles City released five Anakbayan members after filing a complaint for mischief against them. The Anakbayan members were arrested on Saturday night after they were caught posting anti-Balikatan posters in the city.

Fort Magsaysay

In Nueva Ecija province, 687 American soldiers arrived in Fort Magsaysay last week for ground military exercises with Filipino soldiers.

Reports from the 7th Infantry Division information office said the American soldiers, led by US Army Colonel Jack Pritchard, will demonstrate the use of modern weapons while Filipino soldiers will teach them jungle survival during the exercises.

The troops will also hold drills on rescue operations and conduct civil military operations and community outreach activities, the 7th ID said.

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  • OFW Franklin

    bakit itong anak ng bayan na ito ay ayaw magprotesta sa China embassy kung talagang interest ng pilipinas ang adikhain nila….. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/W35OYPUI3PBAJFGSLQTG2WR22Y Cyrus

    minsan ang leftist na mga ito ay tumutulong din sa bayan para magicing din sa katotohnan ang nasa gobyerno. pero mas lamang ang bulok na plano ng mga grupo na ito. bakit ba pinag initan nila ang amerikano na mag balikatan dito sa pinas. hindi ba inisip nila sakali ang america din ang tutulong sa atin. ano ba isip ang meron sila????
         sabihin natin na meron din bulok na sundalong amerikano pero hindi lahat diba.mag isip isip kau naman…… bakit hindi kau mag martsa araw araw sa harap ng embassy ng china  at matutuwa naman ang mga mamayan sa gawin ninyo. yan kinukuha na nila ang lupain natin bakit di kandamahog mag protesta bakit parehas kau isip kumunista ba… tanong lang….
          kailangan natin ang amerikano sa pilipinas sa matual defense kahit ano mang yari para maging balance ang pwersa laban sa mga communist. sakali ba mag isip ang china sakupin ang lupain natin ano ang ilaban natin …… ultimo batuta di na nga makabili ang pilipinas sa sobrang kurakot eh………….
           STUPID AND IDIOTANG MGA  LEFTLIST NA YAN……….. BUANG PAG ISIP
         

    • PHtaxpayer

      Uh, their protesting the VFA and Balikatan stems from the 2009 Senate investigation that the found that the Americans are just fooling us.  Please read those findings and research the basis for their protests.  The PH govt is telling the public the Americans are not engaged in combat operations and have no permanent military bases but the facts and evidence show this to be untrue.  I don’t want to lengthen my answer because you will not believe me anyway if you don’t want to believe.  The truth is out there if you care to look for it but if you ignore it, it disempowers you and benefits the peole who want to profit from your ignorance.

      • tamumd

        Quit being paranoid….there are no permanent American bases!!! It’s the leftist propaganda!!! You don’t want to lengthen it coz you have nothing to say and there are no evidence!!!
        Meanwhile China is currently trying to grab part of our territory…that’s what you need to be fuming about!! Not some imagined presence of US bases!!!

      • PHtaxpayer

        PCVFA Exec. Dir. Edilberto Adan confirmed claims by the (US) Pentagon that between 500 and 600 US troops were based indefinitely in the country.  So where are these troops staying, in the Davao Hilton?  
        It has been established there is a presence of an unlimited number of US troops engaging in undefined activities for an unspecified period of time in our country since 2001 when the public was told that they are here to help us in the “War on Terror”.  Well, Bin Laden is dead, the US pulled out of Iraq and planning to pull out from Afghanistan in 2 years but no plans from pulling out of the PH.
        So if these troops are no longer visitors then “they have become permanent fixtures in Mindanao” according to leftist leaders, which violates the VFA.
         This new permanent US military base is not like Clark and Subic, it’s bigger and more flexible… 
        1. “Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines”, headquartered in Zamboanga but operating all over Mindanao.  It is inside a PH military base, although even Filipino soldiers require US permission to enter the facility.
         
        2.  “Cooperative Security Locations” (CSLs), a new category of bases that are either private or technically “owned” by host governments but are to be made available for use by the US military as needed. The PH govt refuses to disclose where these CSLs are but in 2005, the US Overseas Basing Commission (OBC), the official commission tasked to review US basing, confirmed that the PH has them.
         
        3.  Continuous deployment of US troops to the country in the guise of “training” or other exercises.  
         
        As former US Pacific Command head Thomas Fargo pointed out: “Access over time can develop into habitual use of certain facilities by deployed US forces with the eventual goal of being guaranteed use in a crisis, or permission to pre-position logistics stocks and other critical material in strategic forward locations.”
         
        4.  Regular arrival of US military warships and their temporary but regular stationing in various ports all over the country—from Subic to Palawan, from Leyte to Tawi-Tawi. 

        5.  Full access: In 2001, the PH government gave the US military permission to fly over the country’s airspace, use its airfields and ports, and travel on its sea-lanes. And with the Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) signed in November 2002, the US was also allowed to store and pre-position equipment in the country, construct structures and be provided with the full range of logistics and operational services it requires during deployments—in short, access to the full range of services that the US military would require to operate in and from the country.
         
        Before, Subic and Clark would have been inviting targets for US enemies, now its like it was in 1941, just target the whole PH because they are one big US military base anyway.

         

          

      • tamumd

        And just look who is complaining..”the leftist” and maybe even the Abu Sayaf. They are worried that they couldn’t extort those poor farmers or kidnap people for ransom anymore in Mindanao coz of the military presence and with the support of visiting forces!!! Again there are no physical base….a base includes hangars, runways, mess halls, housing for the military personnel and their families. Those do not exist!! Southern Philippines is the right place they should stay coz those are the hide outs of those lawless, useless rebels!!! We need to root out the NPAs and the muslim insurgents inthe south..so that the Philippines could progress!!! I’m sure those visiting forces are infusing money on the local economy for their accomodations, food etc while helping keep the peace and quiet of Mindanao!!!

      • PHtaxpayer

        Uh the money you are talking about was wasted and unaccounted for, according to a Senate investigation in 2009 when whistleblower Nancy Gadian came forward.  Our combat soldiers don’t even have uniforms or bullets.  They have to buy their own.  I read a report of a wounded soldier who the govt couldn’t even pay his hospital bills. 

        You are avoiding the issues by changing the subject, that our  Constitution is being violated and you don’t even care about the corruption behind it.  You merely brand the people who are concerned about our national interests and all others who disagree with your views, as “leftists” which is typical of military propaganda or people who want to avoid talking about the issues.

        When I was a kid, there were no NPA in our sugar farms in Negros, the Chinese were poor and weak and I was travelling the world to study and compete in sports because the PH could compete. The PH was one of the best Asian countries and we were respected abroad.  But having Clark and Subic could not protect us from Marcos and his cronies from plundering the country, getting behest loans and taking away human rights.

        History repeats itself and those who ignore the past are doomed by it.  It’s the young generation who will benefit of suffer from the govt’s decisions today.  Some know the truth and are fighting for their future.  Others are still blind and comfortable with letting someone else control it for them.  It’s your choice.

      • tamumd

        //Uh the money you are talking about was wasted and unaccounted for, according to a Senate investigation in 2009 when whistleblower Nancy Gadian came forward.  Our combat soldiers don’t even have uniforms or bullets.  They have to buy their own.  I read a report of a wounded soldier who the govt couldn’t even pay his hospital bills. You are avoiding the issues by changing the subject, that our  Constitution is being violated and you don’t even care about the corruption behind it.  You merely brand the people who are concerned about our national interests and all others who disagree with your views, as “leftists” which is typical of military propaganda or people who want to avoid talking about the issues.When I was a kid, there were no NPA in our sugar farms in Negros, the Chinese were poor and weak and I was travelling the world to study and compete in sports because the PH could compete. The PH was one of the best Asian countries and we were respected abroad.  But having Clark and Subic could not protect us from Marcos and his cronies from plundering the country, getting behest loans and taking away human rights.History repeats itself and those who ignore the past are doomed by it.  It’s the young generation who will benefit of suffer from the govt’s decisions today.  Some know the truth and are fighting for their future.  Others are still blind and comfortable with letting someone else control it for them.  It’s your choice.//

        The “unaccounted and wasted money” you’re talking about is the workings of our own corrupt people..definitely not the fault of the US. Nancy Gadian is a snitch..who wanted to take down just anyone along with her when she herself was found to be extravagantly spending funds!!! Oh I don’t believe you one bit…if our own soldiers have to buy for their uniform and food…I’ve read somewhere they have daily food allowance!!! Wounded soldiers are treated in military hospitals which they don’t have to cough out any centavo…No we are not avoiding the issue..we want to make sure that this exercise is legal and has the consent of the Congress and our government. Or else they won’t allow it to happen!!! Your concern for our national interest is half baked…you’re rabid against the US, but don’t have a say about China who is currently occupying part of the Philippines!!!

        No NPA in Negros? You must’ve grown up in the 50s and 60s..because right now they have one of the most vicious group of NPA there – the Apolinario Gatmaitan Command. By the way the 3rd in command was already apprehended (Romeo Nanta) !!! The following are some of their atrocities as of late: 1) bombing of Globe Telecom towers in Toboso and Cauayan towns; 2) raid of police and military detachments in Escalante and Toboso in 2006 and 2010; 3) burning and bombing of two transloading stations in Toboso and the Victorias Milling Company in Victorias City; 4) raid of a police station in La Libertad, Negros Oriental; 5) ambush of civilians in Brgy. Salamanca of Toboso; and 6) harassment of a detachment in Brgy. Villegas, Guihulngan City in Negros Oriental. 7) burning of tractors at Hacienda Vicente owned by the Espino family in Cabacungan, Negros Occidental because they refused to pay “revolutionary taxes”. Maybe it’s time for you to pay them a visit and see for yourself!!! Or maybe you’re already in self-exile, running away from authorities!!!

        If the sentiments in this forum suggest the general perception of our people including the youth about the leftist groups including the NPAs, muslim insurgents, Abu Sayaf, then I am glad very few sides with these menace of a group!!!I am hopeful that one day we will flush this undesirable elements of our society for good and we can live again in peace and quiet in the countryside!!! Let’s keep JoMa in the Netherlands also!!

      • PHtaxpayer

        Nope, the PH Army does not have adequate medical care of our soldiers.  

        Look for the PDI story “Army settles part of wounded soldier’s hospital bills after snafu”

        By Julie S. Alipala
        Inquirer Mindanao8:28 pm | Sunday, November 6th, 2011

        The military uses Ciudad Medical Center (CMC) in Zamboanga City to treat wounded soldiers and one of them was having problems with his medications after the institution put his account on hold.

      • PHtaxpayer

        So I destroyed your 2 major beliefs already  and proved that 
        1. that there are permanent US military bases here
        2. our military cannot even afford to take care of our own wounded soldiers but want to buy F-16’s and navy ships

  • tamumd

    //Nope, the PH Army does not have adequate medical care of our soldiers.  Look for the PDI story “Army settles part of wounded soldier’s hospital bills after snafu”By Julie S. Alipala
    Inquirer Mindanao8:28 pm | Sunday, November 6th, 2011

    The military uses Ciudad Medical Center (CMC) in Zamboanga City to treat wounded soldiers and one of them was having problems with his medications after the institution put his account on hold//

    .This is anecdotal..one single case and not the norm!! Notice the title…”after snafu”. Someone missed up and didn’t know what they’re doing!!! Again this is an isolated case and not the norm!!! You gotta have far better proof for your propaganda….otherwise no one would believe your cause!!! lol

    • PHtaxpayer

      “One single case”?  Did you not read the statement made by the military that CMC “is used to treat wounded soldierS”?  PLURAL with an “S”, not singular or an “isolated case”.  Hello!

      Some people continue to believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.  haha

  • akosimickeymouse

    dapat na rin labanan ‘tong mga rallyista na eto….malamang na pinupunduhan eto ng mga chinese funders na guluhin tayo dito sa pilipinas…para hindi tayo makatutok jan sa spratly island na sinasakop din ng mga intsik….mga bayaran lang din nman eto…malaki na ang sinira ang mga tsikong sa ating bayan at sa ating pagkatao…matyagin mo kabayan sino ang mga nagtayo ng mga pagawaan ng illegal na drugas dito sa ating bansa halos mga intsik….dapat ng kumilos na tayo ngaun at makipag alyansa sa mga otoridad…

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/H52BMOMHKS2VYQUCKWMOEOA3ZY jose marie

    CGuro pag nag rally kayo sa china embssy sasama ako.pambihira nmn kayong ang tatanga ninyo,ngayon pa ninyo yan ginagawa halata tuloy na inutosan kayo nang china.mag kano ba binigay sa inyo?  nakaka hiya kayo!     tinotolongan nanga tayo nang mga kano. gagawa pa kayo nang x-sina,,,,,,,

    ito lang sasabihin ko. kaya naba natin talonin ang china kung mag kagulo na?

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