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Police officer attacks journalists covering protest in Philippines

A police officer allegedly attacked a journalist from an online newspaper and his colleague, and damaged cameras and other equipment during the dispersal of protesters along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City, Manila, during President Benigno S. Aquino III's fourth State of the Nation Address last 22 July 2013.

Kenneth Guda, photojournalist and editor of Pinoy Weekly, and Xian Anzures, reporter of the local news-magazine Quezon City Times, told CMFR that they were taking video footage of the police officers driving away the protesters when one of the police officers hit their cameras with his truncheon.

"They kept on pushing. I heard someone taking command, then a police officer swung his baton. I managed to avoid (being hit) at first. Then I aimed my camera again and it was finally hit (by the baton)," Guda said in Filipino in a phone interview last August 5.

"They knew we were from the media. The militants were no longer behind us but they kept on pushing," Guda added.

The journalist thinks it was not an accident and that the police officer did it on purpose.

Anzures confirmed Guda's story through a text message to CMFR on 6 August 2013.

"We were taking videos of the police pushing forward when an officer swung his baton hitting our cameras. My wide lens adaptor was thrown on the road. I was able to find it, but it was already broken," Anzures texted in Filipino.

The two tried to look for the policeman who hit their camera but the officer was nowhere to be found. But Guda managed to capture the incident on video and to upload it on YouTube.


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