On April 7, Thursday, the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights headed by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III will be conducting a public hearing in light of the shooting and violent dispersal of protesting farmers of Kidapawan, which resulted in the deaths of three and scores injured. The hearing will be held at the University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP) in Davao City. Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano already confirmed his attendance.
“We are holding the hearing in Davao City because it is one of the nearest places to the Kidapawan incident. Some of the invited resource speakers belong to the protesting farmers, who are too injured to travel all the way to Manila,” explained Pimentel, the Chairman of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights.
On April 1, two farmers and a civilian were killed, while several others were badly injured after police forces opened fire at some 5,000 farmers who were staging a protest action in Kidapawan City. The farmers have been protesting what they said was the government’s inaction on their plight and demanded rice rations, claiming that the El Niño has left them and their families hungry.
“In the Senate hearing, we will listen to all parties present,” said Cayetano. “But most importantly, we hope to get to the bottom of this issue and render justice to all the victims of this unnecessary use of violence.”/Office of Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano