HIGHLIGHT: Kidapawan massacre as it is called by many local papers in Mindanao, is now being investigated by the government -up for review is a video of Kilab Media uploaded on Saturday, April 1.
The video shows fully-armed authorities firing their guns on farmers who barricaded the North-Cotabato highway.
A police and a woman were seen discussing in the first minutes of the footage speaking in their dialect, about the supposed rice supply for farmers. The police mentioned "maximum tolerance."
As the police warned of dispersal, and during the actual encounter, a lot of stones were thrown by the protesters.
Kilab Media's inter texts said that the incident took place at around 11 a.m. and the police and soldiers followed the farmers who sought refuge in United Methodist Church. They also used M-16 rifle to disperse 6,000 protesters.
The Department of Interior and Local Government and the Philippine National Police will include the video in its investigation.
Interior Secretary Mel Sarmiento said, “Kailangan both sides makita, kasi lahat may karapatan eh.”
The Commission on Human Rights have also deployed people in the field and held press briefings.
CHR Chair Chito Gascon said, “Sa usapin ng dispersal, wala pong dahilan para gumamit ng live ammunition dahil pinag-uusapan natin dito ay hindi naman po ito criminal operation (In the matter of dispersal, there is no reason to use live ammunition because it was not a criminal operation).”
Read Also: CHR investigates gun use on dispersal
According to the video, the number of casualties are now: 3 dead and 166 wounded farmers.
The men who died were identified as follows,
The Kidapawan Government reported 3 of the policemen are in critical condition.
- Rotello Daelto from Brgy. Binoongan, Arakan municipality. Member of Arakan Peasant Progressive Organization (APPO)
- Victor Lumandang from Brgy. Alobayon, Magpet. Member of Apo Sandawa Lumadnong Paghiusa (ASLPC)
- Enrico Pabrica, 30 years old from Kidapawan City
Netizens commented on the video which has been viewed 60 thousand times.
Farmers came down on Wednesday, March 27, to demand rice supply supposedly distributed on the dawn of El Nino drought in January. With kids and families starving, they held a barricade in order to be heard, which resulted to the violent dispersal.
Kilab Media stated that it is an audio-visual project on people's struggles in Mindanao. Along with the videos it has uploaded on Youtube include Lumad people's plight. Its Facebook page, Kilab Multimedia, has 16, 000 followers.
Photo Credits Edgardo Fuerzas of Sun.Star SuperBalita Davao