Amidst reports of an additional 7 Manggahan floodway residents arrested by police forces, youth group Anakbayan today called for the immediate release of the now 48 arrested in connection to the August 31 dispersal of residents barricading against the demolition of their homes at the Manggahan Floodway in Pasig City.

According to the testimonies of those arrested, some of those arrested did not even took part in the barricade but only got wet by water cannon while passing through. Some were simply boarding in the community and were on their way home from work. Police forcibly manhandled and aimed guns at the protesters and even entered homes to conduct arrests.

“We call on the Filipino youth and people to take a strong stand against the police brutality and fascism exercised by the Duterte regime on the people’s legitimate struggles to defend their homes and livelihood. This comes on top of his brutal anti-poor tokhang war and all-out war,” said Anakbayan National Chairperson Vencer Crisostomo.

Of the arrested residents, dubbed by protest organizers as the “Floodway 48”, 10 are minors who are also members of Anakbayan. Two of the ten minors are aged 12 and 14 years old. The minors suffered bruises for reportedly being beaten by the municipal social welfare officer.

“This is the real face of what has now unfolded as the US-Duterte dictatorship. Under Duterte’s fascist regime, the urban poor get beaten and arrested for fighting for their homes and livelihood or are shot dead without due process on mere suspicion of being criminals,” said Crisostomo.

Having taken off any progressive pretensions, the Duterte government the youth leader said has now come to increasingly rely on state violence and repression to enforce anti-people, neoliberal policies and projects that displace, dispossess, and curtail the rights of the poor and downtrodden.

He added the residents are only being duped by the government that the area is a danger zone to force them to vacate their residences of over 45 years in order to pave the way for the expansion of commercial and residential projects by big business interests.

Crisostomo said more protests are in the offing against the intensified fascist attacks and neoliberal offensives of the US-Duterte regime which will culminate this month on the 45th martial law anniversary on September 21.


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