De Jesus, Brosas slam police use of ‘sonic weapon’ in anti-Trump protest

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Gabriela partylist Representatives Emmi De Jesus and Arlene Brosas blasted the police’s use of a sonic weapon that generated an earsplitting sound against protesters who are denouncing US President Donal Trump’s visit at the huge mobilization on Monday.

In a statement, they said the deployment and use of the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) at the rally constitutes a new level of state violence as there was an intent to harm the protesters during the skirmish along Taft Avenue.

“The latest anti-people weapon of the PNP must be probed and opposed. Hindi pwedeng paglaruan lang nila ito kada may mobilisasyon para pagtakpan ang galit ng mamamayan. Hindi biro ang epekto nito sa pandinig at kalusugan ng mga nasa pagkilos, at maging sa kapulisan mismo,” Brosas said, noting that patients of the nearby Philippine General Hospital (PGH) might have also been affected.

She said several reports have indicated that the sonic weapon can have varied effects on the human body, including hearing trauma, permanent hearing loss and lingering headaches.

“Magkano ang pinambili ng PNP para rito? At ilan pang LRAD ang nakatabi sa arsenal ng kapulisan? Dapat na ilantad ito sa publiko,” Brosas said, adding they they will file a House resolution next week regarding the incident.

Jesus, for her part, said blasting sound cannon to a democratic protest highlights the desperation of the Duterte regime in handling the mounting anger of the people over its “failed economic policies and rising tide of fascism.”

“It is a desperate attempt to drown the legitimate calls of women and the people for the pullout of US troops and junking of one-sided trade and military agreements. Lalo lamang lalakas ang mga panawagan ng mga mamamayan para sa tunay na pagbabago,” she added.