North Cotabato top cops booted over violent dispersal of Kidapawan rally

Iconic photo taken after the violent dispersal of a rally of protesting North Cotabato farmer folks seeking government aid to mitigate the effects of El Nino.

KIDAPAWAN CITY, April 8 –- Two of the top Philippine National Police officers in North Cotabato province were sacked of their posts as part of the fallout of the violent dispersal of protesting farmers last April 1 here.

PNP region 12 administrative head Police Sr. Supt. Danilo Peralta confirmed Friday the relief of provincial director P/Sr. Supt. Alexander Tagum and Kidapawan police director P/Supt. John Calinga.

The violent dispersal operation is being investigated by the Senate Committee on Justice and the Commission on Human Rights.

Replacing the provincial top cop is P/Supt. Jose Briones, current provincial police operations chief, as North Cotabato police officer-in-charge while P/Supt Noel Kinazo, provincial police office deputy chief for administration is Calinga’s replacement.

This developed as the remaining 1,114 farmers staying at the compound of a local church returned home on Thursday to their communities in the province.

The last batch of farmers was part of a much bigger 6,000 strong farmers group that was met by the 200 anti-riot policemen during the dispersal operation.

Meanwhile, the provincial chair of Kilusang Magbubukid Ng Pilipinas Jerry Alborme said each farmer went home with 25 kilos of rice over donations that reached 1,223 bags following the dispersal incident.

He said that out of the total rice donation, 245 sacks were consumed during the rally with 978 bags divided among the farmers, including the 1,024 at the United Methodist Church compound, 79 who are currently detained and 11 others confined at the hospital.

Alborme said upcoming rice donations would be coursed through the Philippine National Red Cross and partners due to existing regulations that prohibits any government agency from releasing funds due to the May 9, 2016 elections. 9With PNA report)

  • North Cotabato top cops booted over violent dispersal of Kidapawan rally
  • Tagum and Calinga to submit themselves to the ongoing investigation
  • Farmers went home with 25 kilos of rice from donations

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