GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Mar Roxas and running mate Leni Robredo on Friday condemned the violent incident in Kidapawan City which left one farmer killed and scores injured, two reported in critical condition, and said those responsible should be brought to justice.
Roxas, who is campaigning in General Santos City at the time of the incident, said the clash involving protesting farmers and police authorities is “alarming.”
According to reports, among those injured were 11 farmers and 38 policemen.
“The first task of the day is to restore order to area and make sure that no clash happens again. The wounded on either side should be tended to,” he said.
“I call on the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other concerned agencies to investigate as to the true cause of the clash and, if warranted, punish those who may be accountable,” Roxas said.
The incident happened when police began dispersing about 6,000 farmers from the hinterland towns of Cotabato who were occupying a portion of the national highway in Kidapawan City since Wednesday.
The protesters were calling for government aid to replace the losses they incurred due to the effects of El Niño.
The human chain prevented vehicles plying the Davao to Cotabato route from passing through the highway as all exits and entrance routes along the boundary were blocked by the protesters.
Authorities gave them until Friday morning to leave the area and the incident happened when they refused.
Meanwhile, Roxas’ running mate, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, said she was deeply saddened by the turn of events.
“The real cause of the violence should be investigated and those responsible should be made accountable,” Robredo said.