Aiza Seguerra: PNP cover-up on Kidapawan carnage doesn't help
The online news portal of TV5
MANILA – Singer Aiza Seguerra on Wednesday expressed disappointment over a perceived cover-up by the Philippine National Police (PNP) on the bloody dispersal of protesting farmers in Kidapawan last April 1.
“I am bothered, this is just my opinion, I am bothered by the parang pagtatakip na ginawa sa side ng pulisya natin [the apparent cover-up by our police]. I am really bothered,” Seguerra said during an ambush interview after the second hearing of the Senate committee on justice and human rights on the carnage. The violent dispersal on Kidapawan's highway, of thousands of farmers who had set up a blockade to press their demand for rice as the dry spell ravaged large swathes of farmland, has been condemned by human rights groups here and abroad.
Seguerra, one of the celebrities who shouldered the bail of some victims, reminded the PNP that they are being paid by the government to protect the people, including farmers.
“Sana maalala naman nila [I wish they'd remember] that they are here to protect the people. But all these things they are doing, I mean, just to save their assess, ain’t gonna help,” Seguerra told InterAksyon.com
At the hearing, some police officers denied the accusations of farmers and advocacy groups that they were arrested even before the bloody dispersal, meaning, they were not arrested because they were assaulting the anti-riot police. Seguerra rejected the police denial.
“Obvious na obvious (they are lying), siguro hindi lamang akong nag-iisang tao dito nakakaramdam na may pagtatakip na nangyayari [I guess I'm not the only person here who senses there's a cover-up],” Seguerra said.
The former Eat Bulaga star was also disgusted over the absence of four Cabinet members who were invited by the panel chaired by Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.
“Ngayon ang concern ko ngayon, until now, second hearing na ito, wala pa rin iyong mga heads ng bawat department na makakasagot sa mga dapat sagutin,” Seguerra pointed out.
Alluding to the scuttlebutt at the hearing that the Cabinet officials may be out campaigning for Mar Roxas, Seguerra added: “I am disgusted, I don’t where they are, and I am more disgusted if [it's] found out they are campaigning right now.”
The singer, however, declined to issue any message to them, saying "they're always like that."
Among those invited by the panel but failed to attend the hearing were Interior and Local Government Secretary Senen Mel Sarmiento, Social Development and Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson.