By Roy Mabasa
The Philippine government on Monday advised members of the Filipino community to exercise caution after thousands of young Bangladeshis, mostly students, launched nationwide protests over road accidents in that country.
In a report, Philippine Ambassador to Dhaka Vicente Vivencio Bandillo said they are closely monitoring the protests that paralyzed public transport and resulted to injuries and damage to property.
As of this writing, Bandillo said the Embassy has not received reports of Filipinos among those injured in the protests.
He said the Embassy has already sent an advisory to leaders of the estimated 500 Filipinos in Bangladesh, urging exercise caution after students began protesting against alleged government inaction over mounting student deaths caused by motor accidents.
“The Embassy continues to coordinate with leaders of the Filipino Community to check on the safety of their members and to see if any of our kababayan have been affected by the protests and need assistance,” Bandillo said in a statement.
Bandillo further said the protests have turned violent after police fired tear gas to clear streets of numerous roadblocks set up by the protesting students.
For more than a week, thousands of Bangladesh young people marched on the streets following the tragic death of two schoolchildren – a boy and a girl – who were run over by a speeding bus on July 29.
Reports said there have been instances of violence in the capital city of Dhaka, home to about 18 million people.