A week after the violent dispersal of protesting farmers in Kidapawan City, President Aquino finally breaks his silence and said he was unaware of the whole incident.
In an administration campaign rally in Makati City yesterday, Aquino admitted he was only informed of the massive farmers' protest on the afternoon of April 1, after the bloody dispersal already resulted to three fatalities and 116 injured.
PNoy was in Cavite that day for a Liberal Party campaign rally and the turnover ceremony of a newly-built school building.
He said they were on their way back to Manila when Interior Secretary Mel Sarmiento mentioned that Sarmiento will go to Kidapawan the next day.
The president then asked Sarmiento: "Anong gagawin mo sa Kidapawan?"
Aquino claimed it was the first time he heard about the six thousand-strong farmers' blockade in the Cotabato-Davao Highway, which started as early as March 30.
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PNoy told the Makati crowd that he fell ill on the night of April 1 and had to stay in Bahay Pangarap, his official residence, over the weekend for a doctor-recommended rest.
"Giniginaw, naka-sweater, balot na balot, walang aircon, walang electric fan, pinilit nating matulog sabay nagkakonti pang problema kinabukasan pati 'yung ating sikmura at talaga naman pong pinayuhan ng doktor kailangan magpahinga raw maski konti," said Aquino yesterday.
Despite the illness, he said he immediately summoned a meeting with the concerned officials that same weekend. The meeting, however, was postponed to Monday, April 4, because the officials were not ready.
The president did not divulge the details of their meeting.
The week-long silence from the country's head of state drew various criticisms from different sectors, ranging from the government's inefficiency and apathy to elitism.