MANILA, Philippines-This time, street protesters are on the side of the police.
Various militant groups marched to Mendiola on Wednesday to protest the government's handling of the botched Mamasapano operation, which left 44 Philippine National Police-Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) commandos dead.
The groups led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) marched from Morayta to Mendiola before heading to the United States Embassy in Manila.
Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said they want President Benigno Aquino III, suspended PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima, and the US government to be held accountable for the bloody clash.
On Jan. 25, 392 members of the SAF clashed with armed members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which is pursuing peace talks with the Philippine government, and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters as they attempted to arrest international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan.
Marwan is on the most wanted terrorists list of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
It was revealed that only Aquino and the SAF head knew about the operation while the PNP chain of command was left in the dark.
The lack of coordination, which the President blamed on the SAF head, prevented the military from immediately sending reinforcements to the overpowered group of elite cops.
On the same side?
Reyes said that at the moment, they share the SAF's wish for truth and accountability.