A post condemning the violent dispersal of the farmers in Kidapawan North Cotabato that resulted in the deaths of two farmers and injuring several others has been doing the rounds online.
In a Facebook post, Peter Tiu Lavina, published the official statement on behalf of LEONCIO EVASCO JR, National Campaign Manager of Mayor Duterte condemning the deadly dispersal of farmers who were only asking for food aid to alleviate their hunger in the midst of the drought that hit Mindanao badly.
According to Rappler, “3,000 protesters blocked the Davao-Cotabato Highway starting Wednesday, March 30, to demand government assistance in the wake of the effects of drought in the area.” However, the farmers estimated 5,000 farmers joined the protest.
Kidapawan City Mayor Joseph Evangelista told Rappler that the farmers were demanding that North Cotabato Governor Emylou Taliño-Mendoza release 15,000 sacks of rice to them, but Mendoza reportedly refused to talk to them.
However, the farmers protest were met with violent dispersal 11:OO AM on Friday before noon.
According to the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas soldiers joined the dispersal. “Shots from M-16 rifles were allegedly fired,” it added in a statement.
Meanwhile, ABS-CBN report said that the protesters urged Cotabato Governor Emmylou Mendoza to show up and face them, and the official then sought to negotiate.
However, the farmers were told by the police to clear the streets in five minutes at around 10:30 AM.
Chief Superintendent Wilben Mayor, Philippine National Police spokesman, told ABS-CBN that two police officers are under critical condition “due to head trauma, reportedly due to attacks initiated from the assembled crowd.”
Moreover, there is an unverified report that the dispersal was ordered because the LGU (referring to Kidapwan LGU) don’t want to offend Pnoy and LP leaders who were in Cotabato City, a mere two hours away from the farmer’s protest.
The tweet found its way into the radar of the journalist and columnist Katrina Stuart Santiago who posted the information she received on her Facebook account.
Please read the full text of the statement from the Duterte camp.
STATEMENT ON THE KIDAPAWAN CARNAGE
Blood is written all over the Aquino-Cojuangco hands!
First there was the Mendiola massacre, then Hacienda Luisita, then the Mamasapano and now the Kidapawan carnage.
Blood – blood of enraged and hungered people – are soaked in the hands of the landlord class personified by the Aquino-Cojuangco clique of the ruling elite.
All these barbaric attacks and needless sacrifices would not have happened if the government and the people running it have responded to the clamor for change when 30 years ago the Filipino people put an end to a dictatorship.
It all the more becomes more tragic and despicable that the same bloodline that benefited from the ESDA 1986 revolt have soiled their hands with the blood and tears of the Filipino people that allowed them into power.
President Benigno Aquino III cannot escape blame and responsibility to the bloody assault against the hungry farmers demanding for food after a prolonged dry spell.
A hungry people demanding food do not deserve to be shot.
We call on the Aquino government to immediately order all those involved in the shooting to be disarmed, investigated and dealt with the full might and extent of the law.
Now is the time for the Commission on Human Rights to condemn this barbaric act.
An unarmed, defenseless throng of people asking for food poses no danger. In fact, they are in danger.
Why, oh why should government resort to this state violence?
What is happening to our country?
Why meet with state violence the clamor for change – a change of the way things and the affairs of the state is run by the government.
We cannot blame the people to be angry with their government.
This government has been impervious to the suffering of the people.
Those who are responsible – and the blame should reach all the way to the top – must be made to pay for the blood spilled in this country and the innocent lives lost.
There will be time for reckoning.
LEONCIO EVASCO JR
National Campaign Manager
Duterte for President
Here are the names of 10 confirmed injured during the violent dispersal:
1. Roger Imuy 48 years old, hit in right arm, from Antipas, North Cotabato
2. Leo Deyong, 28, hit in the knee, from Magpet
3. Darwin Madiao, 18, hit in the right leg.. from Magpet
4. Roland Jampas, 26, wounded in the mouth. from Arakan,
5. Mario Ansabo—47, taga arakan
6. Alce Awi, 35, wounded in the leg.
7. Ejay Salaber, 54, wounded in the head –Cabalantian, Arakan
8. Ricky Maat—23, hit by a stone in the head. Bagumbayan Magpet
9. Rodolfo Tanyo, 61,.from Arakan
10. Sheena Duazo, wounded in the head. Bayan Southern Mindanao spokesperson
What are your thoughts on this?
Credits to Rappler and ABS-CBN