Katy Perry roars at anti-APEC rallyists

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – US pop star Katy Perry roared while the Bee Gees asked “how deep is your love?” as anti-riot police deployed music yesterday to disperse protesters near the venue of the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit.

The rally edged toward violence when protesters tried to break through lines of riot police at the corner of Roxas Boulevard and Gil Puyat Avenue in Pasay City to reach the summit venue at the Philippine International Convention Center.

Police responded by firing water cannons and scuffled with protesters, mostly members of indigenous tribes, student and labor groups, who chanted: “Junk APEC.”

Then police pulled out their secret weapon: pop princess Katy Perry on giant loudspeakers.

Perry’s hit song ‘Roar’ was played at full volume, the top of a demonstration disco playlist aimed at distracting the protesters and drowning out their chants.

Dolly Parton’s ‘Islands in the Stream,’ David Guetta’s ‘Sexy Bitch’ and the Bee Gee’s ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ were among the other songs deployed against the protesters.

To add a street bass beat, some of the police tapped their batons against their shields in time with the music.

“It’s ridiculous,” Bayan Muna party-list. Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said as the protesters retreated to soul classic ‘My Girl.’

Many other protesters also expressed anger at authorities trying to suppress their message of opposition to globalization and free-trade policies championed by APEC.

“We just want to make our voices heard,” 64-year-old mango farmer Candelario Rusasena said.

But others could not hide their amusement.

“That was a rude and desperate move,” 54-year-old rice farmer Redo Peña said as he broke into a toothless grin.

5 cops hurt in clash

Five policemen were injured yesterday when members of the Civil Disturbance Management (CDM) clashed with activists who tried to reach the PICC yesterday.

More than 1,000 anti-APEC activists failed to breach the police barricade at Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila and at the corner of Roxas Blvd. and Gil Puyat Ave. in Pasay City.

Police Officers 1 Mark Andrew de la Cruz, Michael Angeles and Rowell John Felipe of the Bulacan police force, who were detailed at Liwasang Bonifacio, sustained abrasions in their arms.

PO1 Christian Nataon of the Region 2 Police Office sustained a laceration in the face; and PO3 Leandro Belenio Jr. of the Cordillera police suffered from heat exhaustion after the anti-riot police squad clashed with demonstrators.

The injured policemen were treated at the Manila Doctors Hospital in Manila.

Senior Police Officer Darwin Lorenzo of the Quezon City police was also hurt when a passing vehicle hit him while he was manning his post in Quezon City.

The rallyists brandishing anti-APEC streamers marched from Taft Avenue in Manila and tried to get near the Philippine International Convention Center where the APEC summit was held.

Several scuffles took place when the demonstrators, carrying homemade wooden shields and sticks, tried to break through the barricade of policemen clad in anti-riot gear and carrying their own shields and batons.

Firemen fired water cannons to break up the charge of demonstrators.

The rallyists later regrouped and held their program using a truck as makeshift stage.

Speakers lambasted the government and the APEC for allegedly implementing anti-poor programs.

The police allowed the group to hold their program for three hours, after which the activists dispersed peacefully.

Former Bayan Muna party-list lawmaker Satur Ocampo – one of the leaders of the rallyists – said they were dramatizing their protest against APEC that favored foreign capitalists to the detriment of the agricultural sector.  – Cecille Suerte Felipe, Rey Galupo, Perseus Echminada, Ramon Efren Lazaro, Non Alquitran




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