PNP probing Kidapawan incident; claims 2 policemen also hurt
The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday said it is investigating the bloody dispersal of farmers in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato.
“The PNP is consolidating all information as regards the incident reported to have happened in the Cotabato-Davao Highway, Kidapawan City. We believe that, in the spirit of thoroughness and fairness, a complete and accurate narrative must be constructed,” Police Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor, PNP spokesman said in a statement.
The farmers said that one of their members was killed, while 13 others were injured after police authorities violently dispersed the protesting peasants.
But Mayor said two PNP officers were “under critical condition due to head trauma, reportedly due to attacks initiated from the assembled crowd.”
Mayor said PNP officers were trained to observe maximum tolerance especially in such assemblies.
“Dialogue is always our primary recourse. We also note that officers who conduct Civil Disturbance Management (CDM) operations are instructed not to carry firearms,” he said.
“Other officers in the area not directly involved in CDM and who carry firearms are also trained to exert maximum tolerance,” he added.
But in extreme cases, where police lives are under immediate threat, he said “all of our policemen are trained to be vigilant and to act out their mandate to maintain peace and order in a calibrated manner.”
“We reiterate that an investigation is ongoing. We will update the public of any findings. The public may rest be assured that any violation of PNP rules and regulations shall be meted the appropriate penalty,” he said.
“We are committed to holding anyone responsible for this tragic incident accountable,” he added. IDL
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