UK & World News
Philippines Deports Activist Who Made Cop Cry
A 20-year-old Dutch activist has been deported from the Philippines after making a police officer cry during a rally against the president of the island nation.
Thomas van Beersum was photographed by Rem Zamora of abs-cbnnews yelling at a weeping Filipino riot police officer during a protest outside parliament where President Benigno Aquino III was making his annual address.
After the confrontation between the very slight Mr van Beersum and the burly officer, the policeman was pictured still sobbing as he was comforted.
Now Mr Van Beersum has been ordered out of the country. Immigration bureau spokeswoman Antonette Mangrobang said: "He participated in a protest rally ? where he berated and (used) foul words directed at the government and a police officer."
A deportation order was issued against Mr van Beersum for violating conditions of his tourist visa and he was put on an immigration blacklist.
However, Wilson Soluren, head of Manila airport's immigration intelligence, said the activist was prevented from boarding a flight home because officials needed to verify if any Philippine court cases were pending against him.
Mr Van Beersum wrote on his Facebook site on Tuesday: "Am now in Hong Kong waiting for my flight back to Amsterdam. I was not allowed to board my plane and to go back to my country yesterday morning. I got detained for about 30 hours at the airport just so the immigration officials could deport me.
"This harassment is obviously done to distract the people from the actual problems that the country faces, such as the almost total domination of its economy by foreign capitalists and the complicity of comprador (sic) puppets such as Aquino. And let's not forget the human rights abuses under Aquino's administration either."
Mr van Beersum has said in an open letter that he joined left-wing demonstrators because he was outraged by alleged human rights violations in the country, including the killing of Dutch environmental activist Wilhelm Geertman last year.
Mr Geertman's shooting is unsolved, and a Protestant bishops' group believes he was the target of people who would be affected by his advocacy.
Mr van Beersum's confrontation with the police officer followed a brief clash between anti-riot squads and protesters demanding jobs and land for poor farmers outside the heavily guarded House of Representatives, where President Aquino delivered a State of the Nation address on July 22.
Police said at least 15 people were hurt.