MANILA, 2April2016 – ACT Teachers Partylist reacted in grief, condemning the shooting by the Philippine National Police (PNP) of unarmed farmers engaging in a peaceful protest action in Kidapawan, North Cotabato on Friday morning.
“We are outraged at the PNP’s utter disregard for the lives of ordinary citizens,” said ACT Representative Antonio Tinio.
“There can be no justification whatsoever for the PNP in using lethal violence against unarmed civilians. Criminal charges must be filed against all PNP officials and personnel involved. There should be no impunity,” Tinio added.
The farmers, belonging to the poorest of the poor in Mindanao, had suffered through months of famine due to El Niño and were engaged in collective protest to demand food and other aid from government. The Aquino administration responded to them with bullets.
ACT compared the Kidapawan carnage to the Mendiola massacre of 1987 and the Hacienda Luisita massacre of 2004 where the perpetrators remained unpunished.
“State security forces, such as the PNP in Kidapawan, probably think that, based on the precedents, they can shoot, maim, and kill unarmed farmers and get away with it. We demand justice for the farmers of North Cotabato,” Tinio said. [BicolToday.com]