Press Release
April 7, 2016

University of Southeastern Philippines, Davao City

AS the public hearing spearheaded by the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights unfolds, I stand before you today as a concerned son of Mindanao.

I am deeply affected by the violence that marred the protest-rally of my constituents who demanded food but received bullets instead. As a result of the merciless dispersal of their mass action, a few have died and more than a hundred are still nursing injuries. I am sad that their misery continues to this very day.

I am confident that this hearing will bring answers to my questions. Did impoverished farmers receive aid due them since Kidapawan was declared under a state of calamity in January because of climate change? Is it incorrect to say that the protesting farmers were defenseless against heavily-armed police forces that opened fire on them? Are the rights of the faithful being trampled upon by the shakedown of Church premises by police authorities?

I come not to judge but to be one with Mindanaoans who have the heart to seek justice for the poor. They can count on me to always be at their side in times like these.

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