Social media “activists” continue to lambast the Philippine National Police for the alleged “brutality” with which they handled the situation on Friday the 1st of April as protesting “farmers” descended upon Kidapawan. The key allegation is that the police applied undue force and harshness in the way they carried out orders to disperse the rally after their permit lapsed.
But who really were the brutes?
Video footage (below) taken from a drone monitoring the dispersal operations shows how police deployed to the scene started out in a defensive position and were eventually over-run by protesters who had turned violent.
Broken down in stills, it is easy to see how the situation turned from bad to worse — for the police, that is.
Shortly after police moved in to disperse the protest, officers took a defensive position hunkered behind their shields as protesters scattered and started hurling rocks at them.
The police formation started to break down, seemingly under pressure from the projectiles being launched at them by the protesters. By then, possibly emboldened by this sign of chinking armour, some members of the protesting mob started advancing towards the embattled police officers.
All the while, water cannons continued to fire at the protesters in an increasingly futile attempt to hold them back.
Eventually, the police formation was broken up by the protesters and the officers started to retreat. In the course of their retreat a couple of them stumbled and were overrun by protesters. The following stills zoom in on one of these unfortunate police officers.
As he is chased by a club-wielding protester, the officer stumbles…
…and falls flat on the pavement.
The chasing protester wastes no time effecting his assault on the police officer, pounding the downed man mercilessly with his club…
This is likely to be the officer described in the account published by Business World Online in the day or two following the dispersal of the rally which was featured in a previous Get Real Post article…
[…] video footage taken by a drone camera of the City Government of Kidapawan showed her husband was left behind when the police line was broken by angry protesters who returned after having been initially dispersed by water cannons. Alone amidst the protesters, he was beaten up.[Ms. Rosalie Ann Untalan, a teacher who also works as secretary to the president of the Southern Baptist College in Kidapawan] said her husband’s head was “damaged” and he has not opened his eyes yet.