DAVAO CITY — Presidential aspirants condemned the violent barricade dispersal on Friday, April 1 in Kidapawan City.

They called for probe on the bloody dispersal by the anti-riot police dispersal unit against the groups blockading the Cotabato-Davao Highway.

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago said the government should be held accountable for the violence that killed at least three persons and wounded some 30 others.

“It is vile enough that this administration has failed to support the farmers and lumads of Kidapawan during the prolonged drought in Mindanao. But it is downright inhuman for them to shoot at the same people begging for help,” she said.

The camp of Rodrigo Duterte also said that President Benigno Aquino III cannot escape blame and responsibility for the bloody assault against the hungry farmers who were demanding for food after a prolonged dry spell.

“We call on the Aquino government to immediately order all those involved in the shooting to be disarmed, investigated and dealt with the full might and extent of the law,” the Duterte camp stated.

They added that a hungry people demanding food do not deserve to be shot.

A report by the Inquirer.net said Senator Grace Poe called for an immediate investigation and resolution of the case.

“The situation calls for authorities and concerned agencies to immediately investigate and resolve this case, and bring to justice those responsible,” Poe was quoted as saying in the report.

Meanwhile, Liberal Party standard bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II called on the PNP to investigate the incident.

“I call on the PNP and other concerned agencies to investigate as to the true cause of the clash and, if warranted, punish those who may be accountable,” Roxas added.

United Nationalist Alliance presidential candidate Vice President Jejomar Binay said in a statement that “hunger is a reality that must be addressed not by violence but by compassion and concrete programs to improve the lives of the poor.” (davaotoday.com)

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