Thursday, March 27, 2014

RUMBLE SA MENDIOLA | Pro-peace pact Moros clash with pro-NDF activists

From InterAksyon (Mar 27): RUMBLE SA MENDIOLA | Pro-peace pact Moros clash with pro-NDF activists

Moros clash with NDF supporters on Mendiola Bridge, 27 March 2014. BERNARD TESTA/

 Muslim groups supporting today’s signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro clashed with some 50 young leftist activists who staged a lightning rally outside Malacanang Palace in time for the 45th anniversary of the New People’s Army.

The Muslims thought the leftists were against their peaceful demonstration, trying to foment trouble.

The Muslim group was midway into a prayer rite at the Mendiola Peace Bridge when a group of young protesters claiming to belong to the "Kabataang Makabayan RTCU-NDFP" arrived at the scene, waving placards and unfurling streamers calling on people to celebrate the NPA’s anniversary.

As the leftist activists, mostly wearing red shirts, started shouting their slogans, a group of Bangsamoro supporters wearing “MORO AKO” yellow shirts shouted invectives at them.

Leaders of the Muslim groups tried to pacify the yellow shirts but when traffic stopped, they ran up to the red shirts and gave chase.

The CPP-NPA-NDFP supporters were caught by surprise and scampered for safety, but the Bangsamoro group caught up with some of them and roughed them up.

One red shirt was hit by the pole he was carrying, and as he fell down the pavement, he was punched and kicked.

The timely intervention of police and Moro elders and women stopped the melee.

Later, Col. Marcelino Pedroso told a radio reporter at least one from the leftists’ side was beaten up. He said that based on the placards seized by police, the youth group was enticing people to “join the CPP-NPA.”

The leftist activists shouted slogans seeking the release of Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, high-ranking officers of the CPP who were recently arrested.

Police arrested some of the pro-NDF demonstrators.

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