Saturday, October 31, 2009

Policemen beat up vendor in Zamboanga

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / October 30, 2009) – Local policemen have allegedly beaten up an ambulant vendor with their clubs after he was caught illegally selling fruits at a sidewalk in Zamboanga City in Mindanao.

One witness told the Mindanao Examiner how policemen attacked the still unidentified vendor who was just selling lemons and oranges in front of terrified shoppers.

“I have witnessed the brutal and ruthless treatment of the police towards the illegal sidewalk vendors. They have beaten the vendor with a club and hit him with their fists as if the poor vendor was a criminal. What a pathetic scene,” the witness said.

Policemen also scattered the fruits as the hapless vendor as he was being beaten. The incident occurred at around 3:30 p.m. outside the Shopper’s Central in downtown Zamboanga.

“Is that the way they are taught on protecting the citizens, sacrificing the dignity of the poor, enforcing the law in a dehumanizing way that befits only criminals?,” the witness asked.

The vendor was also taken by the police by force aboard their vehicle and I have no knowledge anymore regarding the succeeding events,” the witness added.

The scene was not uncommon in Zamboanga City where policemen - armed with a city ordinance that prohibits vendors from selling on sidewalks and public areas - regularly round up illegal sellers and their merchandize - from newspapers to fruits and vegetables to video discs - are seized and destroyed or given to prisoners and charity houses. But there were fears that the seized merchandize could end up in the homes of unscrupulous policemen. (Mindanao Examiner)

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