A police van repeatedly rammed protesters engaged in an anti-U.S. rally outside the U.S. Embassy in the Philippine capital, Manila, leaving several people injured.
About 1,000 protesters gathered Wednesday in front of the embassy to call for an end to the U.S. military presence in the Philippines. Police fired tear gas and used water cannon to disperse the crowd.
Video showed protesters surrounding a police van and hitting it with wooden batons before the driver started repeatedly ramming them with the vehicle. One protest leader, Renato Reyes, said at least three of the protesters were hospitalized.
At least 23 protesters were arrested during the rally, after they threw red paint on a group of police officers.
The protesters support President Rodrigo Duterte's call for a foreign policy that does not depend on the United States, a longtime ally.
Duterte shifting away from US
In recent weeks, Duterte has increased calls for a foreign policy that does not involve cooperation with the United States and has attacked President Barack Obama personally, calling him a “son of a whore.”
The activists, who came from the a large left-wing umbrella group called Byan (Nation), have protested in front of the American embassy for decades, most of which were peaceful.
During the protests, Duterte was on a state visit to China where he is trying to improve strained relations and expand bilateral trade and investment opportunities to improve his country's deteriorating infrastructure.
Amid an uneasy relationship between the Philippines and the United States, Duterte has made overtures to China and Russia, creating more uncertainty to his country's long alliance with with the U.S.
The protesters, however, are opposed to Duterte's outreach to China. In a statement, they said, "The Philippines will not be dictated on, whether by the U.S. or China."
The violent protests occurred as Duterte is under international scrutiny for allegedly ordering the killings of thousands of suspected drug dealers and users in his war against illegal drugs.