Police Clash Against Anti-Government Protesters in Manila

Police in the Philippine capital used batons and water cannons Friday to disperse about 1,000 government foes who attempted to march on the presidential palace.

The demonstrators were angered by the killing of Marcus Bangit, a prominent member of the left-wing Bayan Muna party.

Bangit was gunned down by five men at a bus stop in the northern town of Quezon late Thursday, said police chief Danilo Asirit. A high school principal also died from stray bullets, police said.

CountryWatch: Philippines

Rep. Satur Ocampo, president of Bayan Muna, blamed the killing on security forces operating clandestinely, and said he was holding President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo accountable.

The government denies responsibility, and Aroyo has ordered an investigation into such killings.

More than 680 left-wing activists have been killed since Arroyo tower power in 2001, the human rights group Karapatan said. According to Bayan Muna, Bangit became the 99th party member killed.