SARANGANI Rep. Manny Pacquiao has condemned the violent dispersal of protesting farmers in Kidapawan City that left two people dead and scores wounded.
The group of protesters were reportedly asking for the release of some 15,000 sacks of rice, aside from their demand of free distribution of seedlings, as subsidy due to the ill effects of the El Nino phenomenon that destroyed crops in Mindanao over the last two months.
Monitoring the incident that made major headlines on Friday, Pacquiao took time off from his regular training schedule at the Wildcard Gym in Los Angeles California to offer prayers for the victims.
The Sarangani congressman also sought justice, saying the bloody encounter should not have happened.
“Lubos akong nakikiramay sa pamilya ng mga biktima. Hindi na sana tayo umabot sa ganitong sitwasyon kung naihatid man lamang ng gobyerno ang tulong at serbisyong hinihingi ng ating mga magsasaka na apektado ang ikinabubuhay dahil sa lumalalang tagtuyot dulot ng El Nino," said Pacquiao in a statement.
“Hindi kailanman naging tamang sagot ang karahasan. Sana ay agad na matugunan ang hinaing ng ating local growers na siyang naghahatid ng makakakain sa ating mga hapag-kainan,” he said while call for a swift and fair investigation.
Growing up in abject poverty, Pacquiao vows to continue fighting for the poor especially the farmers.
The 'fighting solon from Mindanao' was a staunch supporter of anti-smuggling bills in the lower house in a bid to end the smuggling and hoarding of farm produce that affect the livelihood of farmers.
"Kailangan nating pangalagaan ang kapakanan ng mga mahihirap na magsasaka. Sa kanila nakasalalay ang inihahain natin sa ating hapagkainan," said Pacquiao, who is now seeking a senatorial slot in the coming May elections.