POLICE IN the Philippines violently broke up protests against the government on Monday 22 July. Over 5,000 demonstrators took to the streets of Manila. They surrounded the government's legislature building as the president, Gloria Arroyo, was due to give a state of the nation address outlining her government's agenda. Protesters denounced US troops being deployed in the Philippines and training the army.
The crowds gathered, demanded land redistribution and cheaper electricity, and called for president Arroyo to quit. Energy deals mean the people of the Philippines pay some of the highest electricity prices in the world. President Arroyo was only able to avoid the protests by arriving at the House of Representatives in a helicopter. Arroyo's government is pushing even more privatisation.
She is proud to boast, 'Many of the right decisions are tough decisions. I have made some of the toughest, and I will make even more tough decisions in the year to come.'