MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Senate held a hearing on the bloody dispersal of farmers who held a protest last April 1 in Kidapawan, North Cotabato.
During the first hearing on April 7, Police Superintendent Alexander Tagum claimed his men were the victims. He said using their guns was justifiable because of possible active shooters in the area.
Drone footage of the dispersal also showed police holding up their shields, as protesters hurled rocks and steel bars at them. (READ: Kidapawan and the rice riots)
It is unclear when the police opened fire, but a bystander says a sniper shot him.
At least two protesters died, while 116 others were injured.
The farmers were calling attention to what they said was the government's insufficient support as they struggle with drought due to El Niño.
Watch the recording of the hearing here. – Rappler.com