‘Blood debt to Kidapawan farmers’: Group hits Davao’s new police chief 

Apr. 04, 2017

Police Senior Superintendent Alexander Tagum (left) served as the provincial commander of the Cotabato Provincial Police Office, who figured in the violent dispersal of farmers who barricaded in Kidapawan City on April 1, 2016 before being appointed as acting city director of the Davao City Police Office.  (davaotoday.com file photo)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—A militant and a local human rights group here scored a police officer who ordered the bloody dispersal of protesting farmers in Kidapawan City last year, now appointed as Davao’s top police officer.

The Senior Officers Placement and Promotion Board appointed Police Senior Superintendent Alexander Tagum as the Acting City Director of Davao City Police Office effective April 3, according to Police Regional Office 11.

Sheena Duazao, spokesperson of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan in Southern Mindanao, said that his appointment in Davao would pave way for human rights violations.

“His mere presence and more so his leadership in the police spells looming human rights violations, abuse of authority and killings in Davao City. It is disgusting to note that instead of holding him accountable over various crimes, he is being hailed by the government,” Duazo said.

She  added: “Lest we forget that Mr. Tagum has blood debt to farmers in Kidapawan City during the April 1 Kidapawan massacre last year.”

“Lest we forget that Tagum has a long established record of being a fascist head of police in North Cotabato. He is directly responsible to the killing of 2 people and wounding of 50 others in that incident,” the Bayan spokesperson pointed out.

Prior to his assignment in Davao, Tagum who is a native of Cotabato and a member of the Philippine National Police Academy Class Tagapagkalinga Class of 199, was installed as the OIC Abra Police Provincial Director on September 2016.

In 2015, Tagum was assigned the North Cotabato police provincial director after his short stint in Cagayan de Oro City where he served as the chief of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Region 10 under then Chief Inspector Ronald dela Rosa, who now heads the PNP.

Duazo feared that Tagum’s “bloody hands and violent mind will be used to curtail local struggle against urban poor demolition, agrarian reform struggle and legitimate protest.”

“His deployment here will surely be met with growing resistance as we reiterate our call to prosecute him and hold him accountable over Kidapawan massacre and various crimes,” she said.

Tagum was also included in the indictment order issued by the National Democratic Front in Southern Mindanao along with former President Benigno S. Aquino III, North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza, Kidapawan City Mayor Joseph Evangelista, North Cotabato Representative Nancy Catamco, for gross violations of human rights over the bloody dispersal of 6, 000 protesting farmers in Kidapawan  City in April, last year.  (davaotoday.com)

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