Kidapawan clash to leave 'dark, bitter legacy' in Aquino admin—UNA | Inquirer News
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Kidapawan clash to leave ‘dark, bitter legacy’ in Aquino admin—UNA

OPPOSITION SAYS PALACE IN DENIAL OF FOOD CRISIS, FARMERS' PLIGHT
/ 02:23 PM April 02, 2016

The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) on Saturday slammed the administration for allegedly turning a blind eye on the food crisis hounding drought-stricken farmers in Mindanao that led to a “bloody and tragic outcome.”

Reacting to the clash of cops and protesting peasants in Kidapawan, North Cotabato, UNA spokesperson Mon Ilagan said the incident will leave a “dark and bitter legacy” in the leadership of President Benigno Aquino III.

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READ: Cops, farmers clash in Kidapawan; 2 dead

“What happened in Kidapawan underlines the administration’s insensitivity and lack of compassion. The carnage is a result of government’s failure to seriously address poverty and hunger,” Ilagan said in a statement.

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“But what is more revealing is that the bloody events that happened years ago in Mendiola, Hacienda Luisita and now Kidapawan highlight how prominent landowners in government treat farmers and farmworkers,” he added.

At least two farmers were dead and several others were wounded after the bloody dispersal of protesters in Kidapawan City on Friday. The farmers, who were demanding relief and subsidy for farm communities affected by the dry spell, said police authorities fired the shot.

READ: PNP probing Kidapawan incident; claims 2 policemen also hurt

Ilagan said Malacañang was turning a blind eye on the plight of the farmers, noting that it promised only to go after the perpetrators of the attacks and not to address their immediate needs.

“Malacañang remains in denial over the crisis that beset our farmers in Mindanao. They failed to address the reality the poor farmers of Mindanao are facing on a daily basis. Tanging calamity assistance lamang ang hinihingi nila sa gitna ng ilang buwang tagtuyot at kawalan ng makain—pero bala ang isinagot ng gobyerno (They were only asking for calamity assistance but instead the government responded with bullets),” he said.
Noting that thousands of sacks of rice rot in National Food Authority warehouses every year, the spokesperson of the opposition party said the administration has “gone too far in responding to the legitimate needs” of poor Filipinos by refusing to give 15,000 sacks of rice to farmers affected by drought.

READ: Tensions flare as cops barge into compound occupied by Kidapawan farmers

“Ang isang lider na bala ang isinasagot sa kumakalam na sikmura ng ating mga kababayan ay walang karapatang mamuno. Dapat walang pulitika sa kumakalam na sikmura,” he said.

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(A leader who responds to our countrymen’s hunger with bullets has no right to lead. There must be no politics in the face of hunger.)

“The punitive approach and the excessive use of state power are totally unacceptable. The Aquino administration cannot evade responsibility for the hartal carnage. They have blood in their hands. The pain inflicted on our farmers and the many poor Filipino families suffering daily from poverty, hunger and government neglect should end,” Ilagan added.

Tensions rose again between cops and farmers on Saturday morning as the authorities, backed by a search warrant for firearms, barged in the Methodist Church compound where the protesters have been staying in. CDG

RELATED STORIES

Binay camp: Kidapawan farmers asking for rice, not bullets

Roxas, Robredo condemn Kidapawan incident, urge probe

Duterte camp on Kidapawan dispersal: Blood on Aquino’s hands

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TAGS: Administration, Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, clash, crisis, drought, Farmers, Hunger, Kidapawan, legacy, Police, protest, UNA, United Nationalist Alliance
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