Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr. reportedly lost not only his wallet, but also 50% of hearing following the Asean Summit rally which was held since Monday.
Reyes claimed the police used a deafening long-range acoustic device for the first time to drive away protesters from the US Embassy and the venue for the ASEAN summit.
“Well, during the dispersal, gumamit sila ng sonic weapon. First time ‘yan sa amin, sa isang rally,” he told GMA News. “Usually ang pinapatugtog lang nila na sonic weapon ‘yung mga kanta ni Katy Perry tulad noong mga nakaraang taon.”
[Well, during the dispersal, they used a sonic weapon. First time it was used on us in a rally. Usually the sonic weapon they used in the past years was the one playing the songs of Katy Perry.]
Reyes blasted the use of the device; saying it was dangerous not only to the protesters but also to bystanders.
“Ano siya eh, it’s designed to disrupt the protest. Delikado ang weapon na ‘yan [It was designed to disrupt the protest] . That weapon is dangerous. It affects everyone, even bystanders. That’s a serious assault to the people. It’s a violation of our rights,” he said.
Reyes added that the sonic weapon could have been provided by the American government.
“Feeling namin baka Amerikano ang nagsabi sa kanila na gamitin na ‘yan eh. Kasi ang alam namin ang US talaga ang gumagamit niyan eh,” he said.
[We have a feeling that it was the Americans who told them to use it. Because we know that it’s the US that really uses it.]
The militant leader also denied that the violence started from their side.
“The violence doesn’t come from protesters. The violence comes from the use of state fascism. When they start blocking people, they deployed thousands of policemen, when they block our way, that’s the source of violence that people have to resist,” he said.
The militant leader complained of ringing noise even after the rally and doctors told him that he is suffering from tinnitus, a hearing condition that involves the annoying sensation of hearing sound when no external sound is present.
Reyes said he started experiencing the annoying noise after bombarded by the police’s acoustic device used against them during the protest. He added that he is already talking to his lawyers about the possibility of charging the police.
“I believe I’m not the only one who is suffering this kind of hearing problem. Baka may iba pa sa mga kasamahan naming”, Reyes said. /Joy Valle/