Makabayan bloc mulls raps vs. Kidapawan officials, police, Sec. Alcala, others

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North Cotabato PNP Provincial director Tagum said he asked regional director permission to clear the highway on March 31 Wednesday. Regional Director said the request was “to clear the highway.” When Cayetano asked if police were disarmed before dispersal, Tagum said members of the CDM were not carrying arms. Cayetano asked why other units were not checked as video shows armed policemen firing at scampering farmers. Text/Photo by Kilab Multimedia
North Cotabato PNP Provincial director Tagum said he asked regional director permission to clear the highway on March 31 Wednesday. Regional Director said the request was “to clear the highway.” When Cayetano asked if police were disarmed before dispersal, Tagum said members of the CDM were not carrying arms. Cayetano asked why other units were not checked as video shows armed policemen firing at scampering farmers. Text/Photo by Kilab Multimedia

By BicolToday.com News Team

QUEZON CITY, 8April2016 – Progressive legislators in the House of Representatives want administrative, criminal raps be filed against officials responsible for the Kidapawan carnage.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala is considered liable for “gross neglect of duty”.

Mar Roxas is lambasted for silly remarks when he said the Kidapawan carnage was “instigated by politicians to get high publicity ratings.”

Kabataan Partylist Rep. Terry Ridon said that criminal, civil, and administrative charges should be filed against local government officials, including Kidapawan City Mayor Joseph Evangelista, North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza, officials of the Philippine National Police, and even Agriculture Sec. Proceso Alcala for the government’s failed response to El Niño that led to the bloody dispersal in Kidapawan last April 1.

“Almost a week after the massacre, the government has yet to own up to killing the farmer-protesters. We are intent in filing all probable criminal charges against the perpetrators, including local officials Evangelista and Mendoza,” Ridon said in a press conference Thursday at the House of Representatives.

“The excessive use of force that led to the death of the farmers is a crime that should not go unpunished, much less whitewashed,” Ridon added.

“We are also mulling to file civil and administrative charges against involved government officials, including grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, and corruption charges against the leading government officials in this case, for violation of pertinent provisions of the Anti-Graft and Corruption Practices Act,” the lawmaker added.

Ridon said that it is clear that Mendoza, Evangelista, and the PNP committed acts that fall under Section 3(a), 3(e), and 3(f) of Anti-Graft and Corruption Practices Act.

“To add insult to the injury, the local government of North Cotabato also illegally detained scores of protesters after the bloody dispersal, and continue to threaten the life of those in the barricade. Such brazen acts of impunity must not be ignored and brushed under the rug,” the legislator said.

Agriculture Sec. Proceso Alcala will also not go scathe-free, Ridon added, with charges of gross neglect of duty also awaiting him for his department’s failure to immediately address the drought that has affected millions of agricultural families in the country.

The lawmaker, along with other lawyer colleagues from the House of Representatives, has travelled to Kidapawan City in the aftermath of the bloody dispersal to provide legal aid to the farmers.

Meanwhile, the lawmaker also reiterated the call for preventive suspension of all police officials directly involved in the Kidapawan massacre.

“How can an impartial investigation be done if the perpetrators of the crime are still in the service? We call on the DILG and the PNP to name the direct actors in this bloody affair, and suspend if not dismiss them from service. Coddling these cold-blooded murderers cannot in any way help the situation,” Ridon said.

Mar hit anew for callous remarks on Kidapawan carnage

Meanwhile, Ridon also slammed presidential aspirant Mar Roxas’ latest statement on the Kidapawan carnage, wherein the Liberal Party standard bearer insinuated that the barricade “may have been instigated by politicians who wanted something to happen to heighten the issue or raise their ratings.”

“For heaven’s sake, Mr. Roxas, farmers have been killed and scores injured, and what you have in mind is if the whole affair is part of the ratings game? Instead of calling for accountability, for justice, all you can muster is another vain attempt to discredit the protest. No wonder you’re lagging behind each and every poll – your haciendero antic is doing you in,” Ridon said.

The lawmaker also lambasted President Benigno Aquino III for remaining silent on the issue. “Mr. President, your silence on the Kidapawan carnage is deafening. Are you still really the head of this nation?” Ridon asked. [BicolToday.com]

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