- PCSupt Wilben Mayor, Spokesperson, Philippine National Police Chief, Public Information Office, has issued a press statement
- Extends sympathy to the the bereaved families of the farmers who died during the protest in Kidapawan City
- Gives updates on the investigation process; leads to the rising of different online opinions
Police Chief Superintendent Wilben M. Mayor, Spokesperson PNP Chief, Public Information Office issued a press statement on April 2, 2016 and posted it on the agency’s Facebook page.
Bearing the agency’s stand on the Kidapawan City incident, it stated, “We extend our deep sympathies to the families of the farmers who died during the protest incident, as well as to those who were injured.”
Adding to it, the PNP PIO stressed, “In fulfilling our commitment to pursue the truth and justice, we also wish to update the public on the result of the SOCO investigation of the said incident.”
Apparently the update was taken from the report done by Provincial Director PSupt Alex Tagum of North Cotabato during a conference with the DILG Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento and PNP Chief Director General Marquez in Kidapawan City.
The report stated that one of the dead rallyists was confirmed to have fired a gun based on the positive paraffin test. The Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) recovered 2 empty shells of calibre .45 at the occupied area of the rallyist, while a deformed slug of calibre .38 was recovered at the makeshift station occupied by the police during the stand off.
Revealing the number of injured rallyists, it stated, “Current records also indicate that 2 rallyists died, while 10 were injured, during the incident. We note, however, that these figures reflect only those that sought medical attention. We understand that some rallyist may have suffered other injuries that either did not require medical attention, or they chose to treat through their own means.”
On the part of the authorities, there were 99 injured PNP personnel, with one declared as still in critical condition.
Meanwhile, participants during the rally were traced to have come from, North Cotabato province, with a number who came from Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Bukidnon and Sultan Kudarat.
Online users following the PNP page shared their opinions on the released press statement.
R.A.A. said, “You want to appear credible, sir? Then please place Sr. Supt. Tagum in preventive suspension and let the NBI investigate. You are in conflict of interest.”
R.V.R suggested, “NBI can handle this, not the police.”
S.C. said, “Justice for the farmers.”
While supporting the police officers, H.R.G commented, “Justice for the Police officers who were hurt and violated. JUSTICE against lawbreakers and violent men. Who threw the stones? Who took the first shot? JUSTICE for PNP who took their stand and in the process, got hurt and endangered their lives. Praying for PNP.”
A.B.A posted a message saying, “Justice for them! they are all human being, therefore they should not be treated like this!”
With all the different opinions, the PNP asked the public to wait for further updates since investigation is still going on.