Police van rams into protesters on wednesday

MANILA - At least 50 protesters were wounded and 29 were arrested by the Manila Police District (MPD) in a violent dispersal of a rally by Moro and indigenous peoples in front of the United States embassy here in Manila at noon today, October 19.

Police have yet to confirm the number of protesters arrested. "They were already trying to seize the vehicle", Officer Kho said. A speaker called the police "puppies of imperialists" on a loudspeaker.

The hardline president came to power in May and has since made a succession of anti-American outbursts, calling Barack Obama the "son of a whore" and telling the USA president to "go to hell".

The Sandugo rallyists are calling for the pullout of USA troops from the country, as they expressed support for Duterte's declaration for an independent foreign policy.

"Immediately, the police released tear gas and rammed their mobile patrol vehicle through the ranks of the protesters".

Around 1,000 protesters gathered outside the embassy in Manila Wednesday to protest America's military presence in the Philippines, the Inquirer, a local news outlet, reports.

The protesters, mostly members of Sandugo, Bayan and Alliance of Health Workers trooped to the U.S. embassy at around 10 a.m. and held a program in front of its main gate.

Photos and videos from the event appear to show police throwing tear gas at protesters, and, at one point, dousing them with a powerful spray of water from a fire truck hose.

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Renato Reyes, Secretary-General of the left-wing group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan said almost 30 demonstrators were arrested, including a doctor and a nurse who were helping the injured. Three people were hospitalized for injuries.

Duterte is in China this week in a visit to bolster ties with Beijing.

A Bayan statement warned: "The Philippines will not be dictated to, whether by the USA or China".

Amid an uneasy relationship with the US, Duterte has tried to forge links with China and Russian Federation, bringing uncertainty to his country's long alliance with America.

"There was absolutely no justification (for the violence)", Renato Reyes, secretary general of left-wing activist group Bayan (Nation), told reporters. "I would rather go to Russian Federation and to China".

Since taking office, Duterte has taken steps toward smoothing over a frosty relationship with China.

Amid a peace negotiation with the Duterte administration, the CPP also called on the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to bring up the incident to the government's negotiating panel.

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