Bongbong Marcos seeks Senate inquiry of Kidapawan tragedy

5 April 2016

Vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. today filed a resolution asking the Senate to investigate the violent police dispersal of the protest rally of farmers and lumads in Kidapawan City that led to the death of three rallyists and the wounding of several others.

In Proposed Senate Resolution No. 1739, Marcos asked the Senate to look into the incident to immediately address the needs of the distressed constituents, not only to provide needed financial and technical support but also to bring justice to the victims of the tragic incident.

“It is regrettable that the despondent pleadings of the farmers and the rest of the protesters who have gone famished by the severe crisis in the province, were met by hostility and bloodshed by the forces of the government,” said Marcos.

It could be recalled that on March 30, 2016 around 3,000 protesters composed of farmers and lumads staged a protest rally at the Davao-Cotabato Highway to demand from the provincial povernment the much needed assistance to families who are severely affected by the drought in the area.

The protesters were reportedly insisting on the distribution of sacks of rice, and the release of calamity fund to alleviate the sufferings of the people who have long endured the ill effects of the El Nino phenomenon in the province, which has been under the state of calamity since January of this year.

Reports said that on April 1, 2016, the local police moved to disperse the demonstrators along the highway, but violence ensued that resulted in the death of 3 farmers and injury to hundreds of other protesters.

“Now, therefore, be it resolved, as it is hereby resolved by the Senate, to direct the appropriate Senate Committee, to investigate, in aid of legislation, the reported violent police dispersal of farmers and lumads in Kidapawan City who are severely affected by the drought in the area, and institute measures to assist farmers in times of environmental catastrophe,” the proposed Senate resolution said.

Marcos earlier condemned the violent dispersal of the farmers in Kidapawan.

He said the tragedy could have been prevented had the government acted more decisively and earnestly in solving the problems of the farmers affected by El Nino in Kidapawan City.