Press Release
April 7, 2016


Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero wants the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a parallel probe into the violent dispersal of protesting farmers in Kidapawan City last week, which left three farmers dead and dozens more injured, to ensure an impartial and independent investigation.

"The NBI should be given a free hand in the investigation in order to avoid suspicions of a possible whitewash," said Escudero, the leading vice-presidential candidate.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has started its own inquiry into the violent dispersal carried out by the local police to break a barricade set up by farmers begging for government aid amid El Niño-induced drought that has crippled most farms across the country.

A number of anti-riot police were also reportedly injured, including two in critical condition due to head trauma. The PNP also claimed it has proof the demonstrators started the violence.

"The PNP probing an incident involving its men will have no credibility whatsoever. I believe that it is imperative that the NBI assume control of the investigation immediately," he said.

Escudero also said the protest would not have turned bloody if the police observed maximum tolerance in dealing with protesters and if the government took steps to help the El Niño-stricken farmers.

"One of the greatest tragedies of the Kidapawan City shooting of farmers and agricultural workers is this: Filipino farmers and agricultural workers begging for rice to feed themselves. How can we sleep at night when we have this inhumane situation?

"We cannot blame these folks for demanding direct assistance of cavans of rice from the government. They need to feed themselves daily in order not to die. Literally death is staring at them, not only hunger. We have to understand their situation that they are literally asking for their next meals," Escudero explained.

News Latest News Feed