In defense of law and order against those with blood on the soles of their feet


Thank you. [Photo credit:]

Emotions are raging again in the Philippines, sides staked out, barbs and accusations shooting across the nation as if people in Manila somehow intended for farmers to be shot and policemen brained with rocks and clubs.

Filipinos sometimes seem very cruel to good people who have hard jobs.

So quick to judge. So harsh in that judgment.

The political opportunists wasted no time sowing blame. Senator Poe and Mayor Duterte were out front. They were parroting the same lines as that strange women’s rights organization from the far whacko left, Gabriela.

Well, no body is too fresh for a political opportunist to stand atop to claw their way into power. Duterte’s spokesman fairly shrieked that President Aquino has “blood on his hands!”

Well these low class politicians have blood on the soles of their feet.

My perspective is different. I’ve known that for a long time . . . well, since 9/11/2001, when first responders were climbing up the World Trade Center stairs in New York as panicked occupants were charging down. The building came down on top of those firemen and police officers and they are now dust.

Sympathy in the Philippines is driven by the poor, who often resent authority and power, because they have none. That is understandable.

It is less understandable why people of authority, or pretending authority, such as senator candidates and mayor candidates, and the editors of the press, so easily choose sides before knowing the facts. The press has blood in their eyes, drooling blood over circulation figures, and who speaks for the police?

Who speaks for the regular people, the sons and daughters of good people, who are put in an impossible position because they represent law and order, and must stand against violent thugs who do not respect anyone with a different idea.

So, hey, PNP and other representatives of law and order. I’m with you. I respect the difficult position you are put into, to face humans imitating snarling dogs. You are expected to be polite, to use maximum tolerance, to suffer or die without defense, without compassion . . .

Without thanks.

From me, personally. On behalf of my family.

Thank you for defending law and order and doing the tough job that whack nuts like Gabriela do not have the character to do, and political slugs like Duterte and Poe are too opportunistic and greedy to appreciate.

I am sure there are many who feel as I do. Who understand that it takes brave people to carry a nation of law and order on their shoulders, even if they are condemned for doing so.

On behalf of other compassionate and law-abiding people, too. . . . Thank you for doing the really hard work of a civilized nation.


216 Responses to “In defense of law and order against those with blood on the soles of their feet”
  1. Jean says:

    Police work in the Philippines makes me think of St. Ignatius’s prayer of generosity. To all the good cops out there who strive to make the best of a hard situation, Kudos to you and yours!

  2. karlgarcia says:

    Kudos to the Police.


    “While the police were trying to rescue the children, the protesters started throwing stones at them. At least 20 cops sustained wounds from the rocks. And then a gunshot was heard and a police reportedly got hit,” Mendoza said claiming that the first shot came from the protesters.

    Mendoza said that she does not want to mix the incident with politics but she noted that former political rival ex-governor Emmanuel Piñol was present in the area and had an interview claiming that Davao City mayor and presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte will be there today.

    She also added that the effort to rescue children from the barricade was prompted by the clash between suspected communist guerrillas and government forces in Makilala town on Thursday evening that led to the death of a 7-month old baby and two other minors who were hit by stray bullets and shrapnel.

    “The wounded cops are now being treated at the hospital while we are also giving the same level of medical attention for the wounded protesters.

    Some 6,000 farmers have been protesting what they said was the government’s inaction on their plight and demanded rice rations, claiming the El Nino has left them and their families with less food.

    in such a situation it is enough for one provocateur to fire a shot at a few cops and start a shoot-out… try to picture the situation on the ground how many cops how many protesters…

    it was in Kidapawan City but where exactly… were there places where snipers out to create trouble could hide and fire a shot? 6000 farmers and how many police? Was it on a highway or in a crowded area with many sidestreets or even talahib grasses around?

    what is interesting is that Binay and Santiago have joined the protest chorus… now what does President Aquino know about the situation in that area? Stuff needs to be investigated properly. Machine gun fire like Norma Capuyan said I doubt – there would be more than one dead.

    What I know of similar situations in Germany when police go against potentially violent groups is that they have video cameras with them to document abuse accusations.

    Like MRP would say, to have evidence and not just witness accounts.

    • “were there places where snipers out to create trouble could hide and fire a shot? 6000 farmers and how many police?”

      Reminds me of the so-called “The Mendiola massacre, also called Black Thursday by some Filipino journalists, was an incident that took place in Mendiola Street, San Miguel, Manila, Philippines on January 22, 1987, in which state security forces violently dispersed a farmers’ march to Malacañan Palace. Thirteen of the farmers were killed and many wounded when government anti-riot forces opened fire on them. The farmers were demanding fulfillment of the promises made regarding land reform during the Presidential campaign of Cory Aquino, and distribution of lands at no cost to beneficiaries.”

      This has been blamed on the Cory Aquino admin. I wonder if snipers out to create trouble for the young government was involved too. To this day, the Marcos tolloyalists are chanting this.

      “By January 1987, the administration of Corazon C. Aquino had been in power less than a year since the ouster Ferdinand E. Marcos as President of the Philippines. The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Filipino, “Peasants’ Movement of the Philippines”), a militant farmers’ group led by Jaime Tadeo, demanded genuine agrarian reform from the Aquino government.[6]

      On January 15, 1987, members of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas encamped at the Ministry of Agrarian Reform (now the Department of Agrarian Reform) in Diliman, Quezon City. The group presented their problems and demands, one of which was the free distribution of land to farmers. Dialogue between the farmers, represented by Jaime Tadeo, and the government, represented by then Agrarian Reform minister Heherson Alvarez took place on January 20, 1987. Alvarez promised to bring the matter to the President’s attention during the next day’s cabinet meeting.

      The farmers barricaded the Ministry of Agrarian Reform offices on January 21, 1987 and prevented government employees from exiting the building. A negotiating panel was to be assembled the following day for further talks.

      On January 22, 1987, the farmers decided to march to Malacañang Palace in order to air their demands instead of negotiating with Heherson Alvarez. Marching from the Quezon Memorial Circle, Tadeo’s group was joined by members of other militant groups: Kilusang Mayo Uno (May One Movement), Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (New Patriotic Alliance), League of Filipino Students and Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod (Unity Congress of the Urban Poor). At 1:00 in the afternoon, the marchers reached Liwasang Bonifacio and held a brief presentation. At around the same time, anti-riot personnel under the command of Capital Regional Command commander Gen. Ramon Montaño, Task Force Nazareno under the command of Col. Cesar Nazareno and police forces under the command of Western Police District Chief Brig. Gen. Alfredo Lim were deployed around the vicinity of Malacañang.

      The first line of civil disturbance control units consisted of policemen from the Western Police District. About ten yards behind the policemen were Integrated National Police Field Force units. The third line, a further ten yards from the second police line, consisted of a Philippine Marine Corps unit, the Marine Civil Disturbance Control Battalion. Positioned behind the Marines were army trucks, water cannons, fire trucks and two Mobile Dispersal Teams equipped with tear gas delivery gear.

      The marchers numbered 10,000–15,000 by the time they reached Recto Avenue. They clashed with the police, and the police lines were breached. At this point, gunshots were heard and the marchers disengaged from the melee, retreating towards Claro M. Recto Avenue. Sporadic gunfire could be heard amidst the withdrawal. Alfredo Lim, former[when?] Mayor(2007) of Manila, maintains that the Marines were responsible for the shooting.

      Twelve marchers were immediately confirmed dead; later sources would cite thirteen. Thirty-nine had gunshot wounds and 12 sustained minor injuries. On the state security forces’ side, three sustained gunshot wounds and 20 suffered minor injuries. President Corazon Aquino convened a special body chaired by former Supreme Court Justice Vicente Abad Santos, the Citizens’ Mendiola Commission, to investigate the incident. The body recommended the prosecution of all commissioned officers of the Western Police District and the Integrated National Police Field Force who were armed at that time.

      In protest over the massacre, the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Human Rights, Jose Diokno and J.B.L. Reyes, resigned from the government.

      In 1988, the Manila Regional Trial Court issued a decision to dismiss a P6.5-million class suit filed by relatives of the victims.[9] This decision was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1993.[3]

      In 2007, members of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas installed a granite marker at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the incident.

      The government disallowed the conduct of demonstrations at Mendiola.[10] However, in January 2008, Mayor Alfredo Lim, allowed rallies at the landmark, as long as they were held on weekends and holidays.”

      • KMU, Bagong Alyansyang Makabayan and LFS are all NDF organisations, that I know.

        National Democratic Front is to NPA as Sinn Fein is to the IRA.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Mendiola massacre ,were Gen Ramon Montano was not even suspended,but the late Former Marine commandant Brig Gen Brigido Paredes was put on floating status for years.
        Bad memories.

    • “Some 6,000 farmers have been protesting what they said was the government’s inaction on their plight and demanded rice rations” – I refer to Bill in Oz’s comment regarding rice:

      “Sympathy in the Philippines is driven by the poor, who often resent authority and power, because they have none. That is understandable.” Joe, it is more than just that… the divides are very deep: and allow for opportunists to use the plight of the poor, uneducated (usually also MRP’s dark-skinned, flat-nosed, English-challenged) – most Filipino leftists are users too. Civilization very thin.

      • Joe America says:

        Yes, and I recognize that the police are among the crooks and corrupt. But the divide you speak of will only end if people of authority and accountability stop using it to advance their own interests and pick at the wounds. I mean, look at Duterte, who is going to get rid of crime in six months, picking sides against the police. So who does he expect to deploy in his fight against criminality? People other than the police. It is frightening. And people love it.

        • All the stuff I have looked at so far points at NDF/NPA involvement with a possible role of Duterte who is known to be close to some NPAs… one of his sidekicks Manny Pinol seems to have been in the area and told people Duterte was coming.

          I was just like Napenas and used Google Maps… Kidapawan is just across Mount Apo seen from Davao City… and look at the side of the road a “DDS” sniper is a possibility.


          As a former leftist I know the NDF agenda – destabilize the country to pave the ground for a national revolution. Back in the days when we did our flash mob style lightning rallies at Recto it was go to the sidestreets run and then make “pa-simple” just walk innocently and meet a few hours later a Paco Cemetery for the count-off: no media to magnify provoked abuses but when we got jailed and our demo was shown on TV our organizers wanted us to be martyrs for the cause – those of us who took other lawyers (mine was Raissa’s dad) got admonished for not going with the FLAG (Free Legal Assistance Group) who would have used our case to make us victims and as we were just new recruits then we decided NOT to be used… anyway I know how such situations look like… and on October 4, 1990 I was a bystander when violent leftists (Autonome, ski-masked stone-throwers) battled the police in the streets of East Berlin to protest against unification – I just went to some cops and asked them the way out and took a tram where I met a cute girl… it is easy to judge situations like that when you don’t know how it looks on the ground, I do. I also had a colleague who was a cop during partly violent anti-nuclear power demonstrations in the 1980s… the only mistake I think PNP might have made is NOT to have a camera unit.

          As for Duterte, he is frightening… his rudimentary thinking points to something very much like National Socialism – a mix of right- and left-wing stuff. Could it be they need a diversion now that Roxas is moving up? Just speculating here… I can already imagine the cries of disbelief and anger… WHOOOO we do not believe you goddam yellows… if the President or anyone close to him said something similar. This is why the reaction of the PNP spokesman is perfectly right – we will investigate. Which is what I am doing also now.

          • Madlanglupa says:

            > Could it be they need a diversion now that Roxas is moving up?

            Anyone with a ruthless brain would easily manipulate crises and critical events such as this one for maximum political profit, and at the same time dump a shipload of horse manure on an opposing candidate.

            And yes, the Inquirer reported the incident but using click-bait style titling, easily blaming the cops for the morass.

            • Joe America says:

              Somehow the humanity gets lost, that a policeman is someone’s father or brother or husband. Who would club a kid’s father simply because he was doing what he was told to do, hundreds against thousands. The police are an entity devoid of humanity, to reporters, to politicians, to the poor. They are a symbol of oppression, cold, irrelevant.

              Except to the kid.

              And wife.

              And brother.

              And father, and mother.

              A nation of zombies, hearts of calcium, looking for bodies to rip asunder and brains to devour.

              • cha says:

                On when the shots were heard, from gmanews report :

                “An earlier report on “Balitanghali” said the police gave the farmers until Friday morning to disperse, but leaders of the protesters held ground and pressed for a second round of negotiation with North Cotabato Governor Emylou Mendoza.

                This prompted the police to move in, triggering a confrontation with the farmers, who threw rocks at the advancing policemen.

                Gunshots were heard when a policeman was cornered by the protesters, according to GMA News stringer Williamor Magbanua.”

                – See more at:

              • Joe America says:

                I would note that the “rocks” were not stones. They were huge, lethal rocks. That is why injuries sustained by policemen were severe.

                The exact cause of death of those killed is not yet known, to my knowledge. The presumption is police bullets, but that may prove incorrect.

                The negotiations broke down because protesters demanded that the negotiation with the governor be in the street.

              • cha says:

                Yes , that is why I was thinking that the shots heard at this point may have been to push away those who have cornered the said policeman? I understand there are two injured policemen in critical condition.

          • Bill says:

            Kidapawan City is a hundred kilometers away from Davao City and it is not under the area of responsibility of Duterte. While he is a candidate, he has no authority and power to intervene in the police abuse.

            • From the Inquirer report I linked above:

              Mendoza said that she does not want to mix the incident with politics but she noted that former political rival ex-governor Emmanuel Piñol was present in the area and had an interview claiming that Davao City mayor and presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte will be there today.

              She also added that the effort to rescue children from the barricade was prompted by the clash between suspected communist guerrillas and government forces in Makilala town on Thursday evening that led to the death of a 7-month old baby and two other minors who were hit by stray bullets and shrapnel.

              Duterte is known for his NPA links and Manny Pinol is a former Ilaga from what I heard.

              His spokesman was the loudest in denouncing the President who is even further away.

              • Vicara says:

                North Cotabato and Davao are next-door neighbors, although the two city centers area about 100 kilometers apart. Pinol and Duterte are old friends. The militant leftists in the area are also Duterte’s friends. Duterte has no jurisdiction in Kidapawan, but that won’t stop him from either going there or politicizing what happened.

                Following the shooting a senior Duterte campaign adviser immediately issued a statement saying that Aquino has “blood on his hands.” Am anticipating Duterte will come along and say: See, Aquino has his own death squad, which kills innocent farmers; at least MY death squads kill criminals and drug addicts.

                Wait for it.

              • Madlanglupa says:

                Not surprisingly his own 50-Cent Army follows to spread the gospel through the agitprop machines called Facebook and Youtube.

              • Joe America says:

                Translation: 50-cents (noun, plural) = “two bits” in early 1900’s American English. “Two bit” (adjective) means cheap and shoddy. In this context, we are talking about Duterte goons in one form or another.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Thanks,I thought it was the rapper 50 cent.
                I will just stick to giving my 2 cents.

              • Madlanglupa says:

                What I mean is, the style of his Internet fans are like the 50-Cent Army of the Mainland Chinese communist party, whose purpose is to steer discussions and commentaries in the party’s favor. That is, a government-sponsored troll army.

      • Bill in Oz says:

        I think that this is a consequence of a grossly inadequate Social Security Security. I suggest that none of the peasants in this demonstration have ever contributed to SSS. And even if they had there is no unemployment assistance or institutional emergency assistance via a normal social welfare system.

        So when the rice crop fails due to drought as has happened on this occasion, ( or perhaps to pest or disease ) the peasants are very susceptible to ‘agit- prop’ by the likes of the NPA or anyone else with an agenda to promote.

        So the police are stuck there trying to manage a potentially violent crisis event.

        Is there a solution ?

        Yes. One is give away rice from the NFA stockpile.

        A better one would be to employ these peasant farmers with failed crops on emergency infrastructure works. Improving roads and road side edges, putting in minor roads to more isolated villages; rubbish clean up programs. With paid wages they can then choose how to spend money. This is not new stuff. Rooseveldt did with his New Deal for the broken and starving USA unemployed in 1932.

  4. Jonathan says:

    Police statement implies NPA involvement.

    It’s plausible. An impartial investigation would be nice, but no agency is trusted enough by all parties to do so. Another political football…

  5. – from Mindanews a few days ago.. with a picture of the barricade…

    The summary of everything I have read so far… police tried to rescue children who were being used as human shields and got stones thrown at them and where attacked with poles etc. then apparently shooting ensued… the sides of the road are all potential hiding places for snipers.

    • – this Inquirer report shows how unsafe the area is – just yesterday:

      KIDAPAWAN CITY, North Cotabato — A child died while two others were hurt when New People’s Army rebels attacked a military detachment near a civilian-populated area in Barangay Kisante in Makilala, North Cotabato, on Thursday evening, the police said Friday.

      PO1 Jeralyn Tavarro, officer on duty at the Makilala police, said an undetermined number of NPA rebels stormed the detachment of the 72nd Infantry Battalion in Sitio Alang-alang around 8 p.m.

      The attack took place barely three days after the rebels celebrated their 47th anniversary.

      Tavarro said the firefight lasted for 15 minutes, sending residents living at the back portion of the military camp scampering for safety.

      She said a seven-month old baby, identified as Joylyn Dado, was killed when she was hit by a stray bullet in the middle of the encounter, during which, explosions also took place.

      Where are the usual suspects this time… two children died in the same city just yesterday one was just a baby… NPA has a lot of blood on its hands


        The identity of the slain farmer was not immediately known. But the PNP said they arrested a number of protesters, including “an individual reported to be an NPA [New People’s Army] Commander from Brgy. Basak, Magpet, North Cotabato.”..

        PNP spokesman Chief Supt Wilben Mayor said they are investigating the incident and will hold “anyone responsible for this tragic incident accountable.”

        • “Their presence continued to disrupt public movement in one of the major transportation arteries of Mindanao,” the PNP said in a statement.

          Upon “guidance” from the governor, the local police moved to disperse the crowd past 10 am Friday and coordinated with the Department of Social Welfare and Development “to rescue minors who were part of the picketline,” the PNP added.

          “Before the PNP could start their operation, however, protesters attacked them with poles and pieces of wood. Large rocks were also thrown at the policemen, and at the stationary fire truck deployed to the area,” according to the PNP.

    • Pictures of the barricade from Mindanews so everyone can see for themselves:

    • A sane comment from the Rappler article… by Armando Astudillo:

      There are two sides to story. The people, mostly peasants, to dramatize their situation, trekked to the place to seek government attention so that the latter would do something about their plight. On the other side, the local government wanted to maintain orderliness and propriety so as not to affect the daily routine of its constituents. The national highway was being blocked and this affected many towns and cities thus making travel very uncomfortable. It was primarily about the alleged 15,000 sacks of rice the rallyists were demanding for with issues on calamity fund in this drought-stricken region. And they demanded that the Governor negotiate with them nowhere else but right in the streets amidst the 5,000 more or less rallyists. Today, the third day of the total highway blockade, they were dispersed. We are again caught in a situation where it is not easy to determine who is erring where. The demonstrators’ cause is humanely valid while the local government has a sworn duty to protect and promote peace and orderliness in the city. And there was a debacle right from the start. The rally organizers wouldn’t talk with the Governor if the venue is not on the streets, but that would not create a neutral venue for the Governor. Then the inevitable dispersal happened…

      • Joe America says:

        Thanks. I’m just amazed at some of the reactions I read on twitter. Clearly, the police are not respected for the difficulty of the position they are in. The moral balance goes with the protesters from a lot of supposedly notable people and journalists. I’m gobsmacked and feel like a fish out of the moral water. I’m glad for Armando Astudillo’s calm and reasoned view.

        • Welcome… it gets even loonier now.. there is a 3 hour old video on Youtube where Karapatan claims the dispersal was because allegedly Mar Roxas was about to arrive in Kidapawan. However on Mar Roxas’ blog it is clear he was there campaigning in February.

          A casual look at Mindanews and you can see that this kind of violent stuff happens in Mindanao very often (violence asleep, violence when awakening (c) MRP) so this total magnification of a typical Mindanao event (and totally ignoring that the NPA killed two children one of them a baby in the same place yesterday night) is campaign-related and has to do with people looking for scapegoats. The true story gets lost in all the shouting.

        • Jonathan says:

          Joe, you come from someplace where in general there is at least some level of institutional trust in the police and military. Particularly in this case, a lot of Filipinos come from the opposite side. The default in a case like this – ESPECIALLY a case like this – is to assume the authorities are lying.

          Not saying it’s right, but that’s how it is for a lot of people.

          • Joe America says:

            Yes, and what I am trying to do is suggest that there is a different way to think about it that builds better institutions and respect for laws and people in the Philippines.

  6. NPA anniversaries usually conclude with aggressive attacks on government and public establishments.

    I’ve listened to Anak Pawis spokesman being interviewed tonight, as expected they lamented the brutal way their members, 3 of them, were killed by gunshots.

    Their gripes were the neglect of the government following the drought induced hunger they have suffered lately.

    I have a hazy memory of my grandparents’ struggle against nature – typhoons, drought and pests. Songs and processions called lutrina were being done to pray for rains (no irrigation at all) because planting season was already at hand; scarecrows to drive away birds and locusts; and bayanihan to harvest the crops before the typhoons came. Tanks of water were collected from rains for their consumption as well as for the horses, carabaos, cows, hogs and poultry.

    But I seem to remember that our family still had enough reserves of rice in our sawali bodega which little by little our neighbors have borrowed which they paid after the next harvest season. Am wondering then of the stories which told of my aunts wanting to eat the newly harvested rice but has to eat first the old stocks, in contrast to neighbors who had resorted to borrowing.

    Stories told of how my grandpa has enough provisions for his 10 children and the extended families, with enough leftover to share for those who farm less efficiently than he did, season after season. The house was bursting at the seams with people from far away places to ask for a chance to harvest so they can bring home sacks of rice as their 30% share (sometimes 50%) when harvesters were slow foots, my grandpa was that generous, he wants them to take home more for their families.

    I am recalling this (with the help of my aunt) because of the farmers’ current plight – hunger and poverty. Was my grandpa just lucky or is he doing it differently, more efficiently than his neighbors then and currently those farmers in the south?

    Why didn’t their mayors aided them with their IRA shares since infrastructure projects in their areas are undertaken nationally through bottom up budgeting?

    • Ok, partly answered by Irineo’s post…the farmers wanted the dialogue to be held in the highway of all places. They were that irrational due to hunder pangs? Or just plainly asking for trouble?

    • Madlanglupa says:

      > Why didn’t their mayors aided them with their IRA shares since infrastructure projects in their areas are undertaken nationally through bottom up budgeting?

      The LGUs were supposed to immediately act on any possible upcoming crises, including this year’s El Niño, and should do to help alleviate the suffering, but as expected, especially as this is election year, the mayors, governors and tongressmen often act more like feudal lords interested in keeping power than public servants who are supposed to do quick action on the provincial, municipal and city level.

      • Madlanglupa says:

        On the other side of the coin, election time is the best time for the Maoists to collect revolutionary taxes (yes, parts of it to be sent over to the “exiled” aging apparatchiks in Utrecht as tribute), harass candidates for “campaign passes”, paint a little red on the walls, and of course, raise hell.

  7. butod says:

    This is simply a failure in conflict management in my view. Could it have been so hard for the local government to enlist the help of a third party mediator to defuse the situation long before it got out of hand, especially when in the first place the primary concern is supposedly to secure the children mixed in with the demonstrators? (Why even set off an already tense atmosphere by letting loose the water cannons when the safety of the children is primordial? High pressure water cannons hurt like hell even for adults, let alone children.)

    Kidapawan is a very small provincial city (so small in fact that much of the urban developments are concentrated along the national highway) where social separation is bound to be even less than six degrees. Any diocesan priest there could’ve suited the mediator role perfectly — many are social reform advocates familiar to activists and yet are non-ideologically aligned to enjoy the trust of local government. Additionally, the governor could have sent her own negotiator with her full authority who otherwise enjoys the trust of activists. There’s always bound to be an ex-activist or a relative of a mass leader currently working for the local government that can navigate the social dynamics rather well.

    And the actionable negotiating points don’t always have to start and stop with maximum ultimatums one way (hand the rice over immediately, or else) or another (disperse peacefully, or else); every party will always be willing to negotiate and win in increments at every stage. The point is to get the parties to keep their shit together by keeping them talking so they can find broad consensus and end the affair with neither quite the winner or loser in absolute terms.

    • Exactly, butod,

      Along with exercising some tactical patience (below), have a mediator, treat it like a hostage-rescue operation— cops aren’t supposed to go in and kill hostages, they’re there to rescue them.

    • Joe America says:

      You are correct, I think. But one also sees the lack of refinement in people’s angry and judgmental responses. Take Duterte’s, for instance. “Blood on his hands” crude remark toward the President of the Philippines, who is an earnest, compassionate man . . . but he is a target for political aims. So one cannot just condemn the Governor and law enforcement people for having poor skills at managing people and circumstances. A LOT of players are taking the divisive, self-gain path.

      • cha says:

        Philippine politicians and canddates for president especially, should be calling for sibriety and calm instead of issuing incendiary statements amidst what is still a volatile situation. This is their opportunity to show real leadership and to a discerning observer they are obviously mostly not interested in contributing to a peaceful resolution to the problem but are rather milking it for political points.

        And the media ought to know better than to chase after them and be the platform for foisting their political agenda.

        • Joe America says:

          Exactly. To that point, I commend the Inquirer for not inflaming the incident with front page emotionalism. I’ve been on the Inquirer’s case of late, but I note that this morning’s coverage was restrained.

          Certainly Duterte’s reaction, through his spokesman, illustrates that he has a different definition of “discipline” than I do, for sure. It was about the most egregious, undisciplined response imaginable. I’m referring to the “Blood on his hands!” outburst.

          • cha says:

            Yes, I noted that about the Inquirer report as well and some of the other dailies too. This one from however has an obvious slant :

            “We waited three long months, bearing the unbearable heat and deep hunger. We endured days in this barricade under the sun, but only to be met by bullets after negotiations failed to reach a settlement,” Arnado said.

            The peasant leader, who hails from Arakan town, said “many of these farmers I have worked and struggled together for our land and life. Now I lost a fellow farmer, and others are wounded, and many are hungry.”

            Greenpeace issued a strongly-worded denunciation, condemning “the unmerciful and inhumane treatment of our farmers in the strongest possible way.” The farmers, said Leonora Lava, Senior Sustainable Agriculture Campaigner of Greenpeace Philippines, “were merely trying to get the local government’s attention to their plight in the face of El Niño, with Mindanao being hardest hit and their families facing hunger for months already. Instead of assistance and food, what they got were water cannons, batons and gunshots.”

            “The Kidapawan farmers are only demanding for the immediate release of calamity funds and rice by barricading the Cotobato-Davao Highway because of El Niño. Instead of giving rice, they received a storm of bullets from PNP,” Marc Lino Abila, College Editors Guild of the Philippines National President, remarked.

            Makabayan senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares and Bayan condemned the violence in Kidapawan.

            Colmenares, who is currently Bayan Muna representative, said the Kidapawan incident was “like the Mendiola and Luisita massacres all over again. Sasabihin nila (They will claim) they are pro-farmers at tutulungan nila ang mga magsasaka pero sa halip na bigyan ng bigas at pagkain ay pinagbabaril (and are willing to help the farmers but instead of giving them rice and food they shoot them).”

            “Anong klaseng gobyerno ito? Sinasagot ang kalamidad ng mas madugong kalamidad (What kind of government is this? They address a calamity with a bloodier calamity,” he said.

            The Children’s Rehabilitation Center (CRC) noted that the most affected by drought are children. “Their well-being is jeopardized from constant hunger as a result of the slow-paced response of the government to their situation,” said CRC’s Jacquiline Ruiz.

            “The protesters are appealing for government assistance as they have been suffering from the effect of drought brought about by El Niño since November 2015. This violent dispersal is a blatant violation of the rights of the people to peaceably assemble. The protesting farmers together with their families demand the long overdue action from the government to save them from hunger but the government responded not with food but with bullets.”

            Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said the Aquino administration and Cotabato Governor Emmylou Talino-Mendoza “should be held accountable for the bloody dispersal” and that “the national and provincial governments should have heeded the just demands of the farmers for sufficient rice support instead of dispersing the protesters.”

            “Firing on unarmed protesters is deplorable and is not the answer to the farmers’ demands,” he added.

            “Criminal charges must be filed against all PNP officials and personnel involved. There should be no impunity,” ACT Teachers party-list Representative Antonio Tinio said.

            “The failure to hold accountable the state forces responsible for the Mendiola massacre of 1987 and the Hacienda Luisita massacre of 2004 has directly led to this atrocity,” he added. “State security forces, such as the PNP in Kidapawan, probably think that, based on the precedents, they can shoot, maim, and kill unarmed farmers and get away with it.”

            KMP national chairman Rafael Mariano called for “nationwide peasant indignation protests and barricades to condemn this violence and injustice towards farmers and the Filipino people.”

            He said the violence in Kidapawan “will be the mark” of the Aquio administration.

            The peasant group and Anakpawis party-list led an indignation rally at the Department of Agriculture office in Quezon City Friday afternoon.”

          • Madlanglupa says:

            > I commend the Inquirer for not inflaming the incident with front page emotionalism.

            If only they didn’t use the words “cops open fire” in the first news article, but they did. They already provoked the expected anarchist parties.

    • I am eagerly awaiting the Senate hearing. I’d reserve judgement for we do not know if the conflict management stuff you suggested was done but did not succeed. Remember 3 days passed before this dispersal, I find that people are not stupid enough to do nothing for three days then disperse. I hope I am right because if that is the level of experience for a Philippine governor then Federalism really is hopeless and Duterte is stupid to advocate it.

  8. Joe, I’m not too sure about Kidapawan. But the crossroad town there about, that connect and separate (at the same time) the Muslim south from the Christian/secular south is Kabacan.

    The Muslim dynamics aside, the thing that struck me with provincial policing over there (especially in Mindanao) is that it’s very reactive and passive (which is good too, I’ve talked about the prison industry here), compared to say American policing which is in your face, especially out in the West.

    I noticed that over there, a lot of it is basically sitting around and waiting for citizens to come by to complain, mediate, document or just to hang-out like firemen over here do.

    I didn’t get a sense that the PNP were actually proactive and walked a beat— the concept seems to be lost, that by walking and knowing your beat, you increase your eyes and ears, hence empowering not only you, but the community you serve.

    So in the case of this protest, you can’t have a crowd-control situation, mixed up with a children rescue operation— you gotta treat that crowd as one mob, ie. scalpel vs. sword, can’t use both, too late for that.

    Hence if you see kids in the crowd, the best thing to do is wait it out.

    So long as you have the crowd contained (which seems the case here), eventually parents with kids dissipate, older kids, the old, the not-so-passionate as well, such is the process of protests. After awhile, it’s the most passionate (read trouble makers) that stay— this is the only time you should go in, exercise “tactical patience”.

    But to connect protest/riot situations to beat/community policing, have the before and after covered. The ‘during’ is gonna be messier, ie. scalpel or sword. Logistically, during a protest, the local/national gov’t will have the upper hand, so wait it out. When it comes to saving lives, you can always afford to wait it out— focus on covering the perimeter, and allowing people to go home.

    After (a day or two to weeks), that’s when you arrest one by one, and make deals to get to the bigger fish to fry.

    So the information gathering (for every cop, not just those special units) aspect of policing should be stressed over there, be proactive. Before a protest, make sure you have information on everyone, etc. Then afterwards follow-up with punishment design to deter future incidents.

    If you have the before and after covered, then you’ll be able to exercise tactical patience, ie. you can run, but you can’t hide.

    No doubt Kidapawan is a lot smaller than Davao, so many of these protesters (organizers) are from outside Kidapawan, so reach out and advertise the ability to reach out and touch people (after the fact) via social media, photos/videos, arrests, etc.

    • Joe America says:

      The governor had waited three or four days, so this was not a knee jerk action. The dialogue broke down when the protesters demanded that the negotiation with the governor take place in the street, with the protesters. The blockade was affecting commerce and a lot of innocent people, so he ordered the dispersal.

      Community policing is an art, I think, and different police forces here do better at it than others, just as in the US. It generally depends on the chief’s attitude and approach.

      The NPA had people there, likely agitating. It is unclear as of yet exactly how the people died. It appears that they may not (all) have been from police bullets.

      Note: To the Inquirer’s credit, the newspaper did not headline the incident in huge bloody headlines, to further kindle angers. Other journalists were editorializing the incident and reporting rumors rather than facts. It was bizarre, like journalism in the chaos of battle.

      • Joe America says:

        You might find the enclosed article interesting, reflecting the views of the current chief of police:

        • The more I’m reading on this the more it’s looking like a legit protest hi-jacked by communist-types.

          The closest that comes to mind is the Occupy Wall Street movement, which spread nation-wide here, where soon-to-be Bernie supporters decided to camp out.

          At first the local authorities exercised patience, not tactical patience.

          Tactical patience is carrot and stick approach. Start choking them out, while leaving the egress/exit wide open for people to leave. This is a lot easier to do when people are actually thirsty and hungry.

          So eventually in these Occupy Wall Street camp-out/protests, cops started situating the food/water supply away from the camp, then slowly choked them out, making it easier to leave.

          If the PNP were just waiting for 3 days straight, w/out establishing a perimeter, w/out catering to the food/water/toilet needs (and leveraging that to their advantage), w/out attempting to negotiate, just doing absolutely nothing,

          Then that wasn’t tactical patience, that was criminal negligence, the failure to actually control the situation, to protect both the public and those protesting.

          • Joe America says:

            You sound a lot like Duterte, that the law abiding people have blood on their hands because the situation set up by violent malcontents got out of control. It is so easy to argue some ideal way of crowd control when even Trump can’t do it. This protest was approved for one day, but the protesters refused to leave. It was on an open road in an agricultural area, not a city that might allow the crowd control mechanisms that were used for the Pope’s visit, for instance. The police I suspect are rural police, not trained in such large scale protests. I doubt they thought about porta potties.

            My current position is not to debate the political arguments or the speculations, but to suggest people stop with the incendiary comments (such as yours) and get information. Then judge and critique and learn and heal.

            • The FB page of Kalumuran Mindanao has an ariel video of the dispersal and a PNP presentation – both are very enlightening.

              • Joe America says:

                Fascinating. So it was a more urban location than rural, and it perhaps crowd control measures like barricades as LCX proposed could have been used to control ingress and egress, and filter out protesters to get down to the few with criminal intent.

                It looks like the water cannons were deployed, the crowd fell back, then attacked the police. So the initial police violence was water cannons, followed by crowd violence using large rocks and clubs, followed by shooting. I had heard the video was played and it made supporters of the farmers angry because it portrays the protesters as aggressors. I’d be interested in the whole picture and timeline as to when shooting took place. After the mob attacked the police, I would guess.

                I have a hard time concluding the police are guilty of doing anything but what they were told to do. I just can’t get to the point that these are innocent starving farmers they are facing.

                I look forward to more info about who and what and when.

              • Joe America says:

                Developments today as people pore over the videos and pictures. Placards show that the early demonstration was in fact protesting the “militarization” of the area, as certain groups sought removal of the army from the area. The protest and violence occurred. New photos and videos emerged from the protest side showing only placards seeking rice.

              • “So it was a more urban location than rural, and it perhaps crowd control measures like barricades as LCX proposed could have been used to control ingress and egress, and filter out protesters to get down to the few with criminal intent.”


                I’ve never been to Kidapawan, but I know it’s a legit city— next cities to the north, south, east and west, are Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Davao & last, Cotabato city (with Kidapawan right smack in the middle).

                Not rural, at all. The scuttlebutt was that Napoles was from Kidapawan, and that was their stronghold.

                But whether rural or urban, whoever is responsible for controlling the crowd (be it police or military), the basic is always a perimeter and then control of egress/ingress.

                The beauty of having a national police, instead of various local depts, is that they can get standard procedures codified—

                I’m pretty sure, a perimeter (from the video only one side was covered) and in/out (with ‘out’ as raison d’être, it’s also called Flow management) that they are the same basics taught from rank/file to middle-management of PNP.

                The name of the game is attrition, protesters will eventually want to drink, eat, pee, poop, or watch AlDub— there’s always other more important stuff to do.

              • “You sound a lot like Duterte, that the law abiding people have blood on their hands because the situation set up by violent malcontents got out of control.”


                I’m not taking sides here,

                I’m just dissecting the police response and offering my 2 cents on it. When I see a mob (in whatever context), I don’t really see law abiding/aggressor, the wheat and chaff will separate by way of good basic crowd control.

                Riot and emergency situations are of course different, but this looks to be a simple protest.

              • Joe America says:

                It has become clear that this was not a simple protest. It appears to have been a violent, staged political action run by hardcore leftists with participation from NPA and black propaganda specialists who have been distorting the message.

              • LCPL_X and butod, the PNP presentation I mentioned on the FB page has a lot of details please look at it before engaging in further speculation all you criticize is mentioned.

              • Ireneo, this is the video I watched (that fb link doesn’t work for me),

              • “a violent, staged political action run by hardcore leftists”

                I don’t know when shots were fired, or when it turned violent, but from the drone video, it looks as though the SHTF only after police response— and police response failed to do the basics in crowd control.

                If you look at the video, the two mobs were basically doing their version of a Mexican stand-off. There was no boxing in, no attempts to control the crowd— did they expect, that after blasting them w/ water the crowd would just up and leave,

                What was the next move? It doesn’t look well thought out, is all I’m saying. And I’m sure a bunch of those cops were at the Pope’s visit for crowd control gig. Did they just have a brain fart?

              • Joe America says:

                I don’t think they expected hundreds of people to pick up rocks and storm lawful authority. If that is a brain fart, lots of people who have respect for the law would have had it, too. I think they expected people to leave the highway. Hungry farmers would have, and did. Hostile militants who would just as soon overthrow the lawful government, would not.

                See, it goes back to your point. You thought it looked like a simple protest. So did the police. It was not.

                You had the brain fart, too.

              • “I don’t think they expected hundreds of people to pick up rocks and storm lawful authority. “


                For all intents and purposes that protest was a street sit-in. Violence only occurred after police action.

                Mob violence is mob violence. Herd mentality is already a given, hence crowd control. Control being the operant word.

                It’s a simple protest, watch the video again, the sit-in erupted only after police action. PNP failed to control the crowd— you don’t have to be trained to assume that a crowd can go crazy,

                that’s instinct forcrissakes, Joe! That knowledge is the basis for proper crowd control tactics.

              • and scroll down to “Kidapawan PowerPoint Presentation” – The Powerpoint presented by the PNP on the events during the Barricade at Kidapawan City from March 29 to April 1, 2016. About the organization of the entire thing including help for the elderly and thirsty… sorry I didn’t have time to look at it in detail and still don’t but it is chock-full of the kind of details you and even butod are talking about it even mentions that the guns of PNP were all investigated or something… have to go.

              • “Hostile militants who would just as soon overthrow the lawful government, would not.”

                re Mob violence, crowds have been known to attack the police whether or not Lakers win, at concerts, etc. You don’t have to be some hostile militant to enjoy anonymity in a crowd, and partake in violence– it’s human nature.

                So when you have a Mob the assumption is always that the mob can turn… just like that.

              • Joe America says:

                In this case, I’d imagine it was not a case of the mob “can” turn. The goal was confrontation. Anything less would have been a loss for the militants and a lot of wasted effort. You continue to believe this was a simple protest. That is, your brain continues to fart. It was a political action, a military action.

              • “The goal was confrontation.”

                The PNP should’ve noted this before hand, ie. the information gathering aspect of policing.

                Absent of prior knowledge, then simply watching the crowd you can surmise what kind of crowd it will be and the ‘goal’ becomes evident, ie. if you see a bunch of nuns, the goal might be different… but you see those placards and signs, and a bunch of healthy looking young men, then you guess-timate, and err on the side of caution.

                Base on the before photos, the probability of violence erupting kinda goes up— instinct.

                “You continue to believe this was a simple protest.”

                That observation is based on the fact that the crowd was simply sitting when the police took action. Water cannons deployed, and the crowd reverted to mob violence (again this should’ve been surmised on the first day, upon first look of the crowd, and all crowd control tactics used with said presumption in mind— the PNP failed to do that).

    • “Hence if you see kids in the crowd, the best thing to do is wait it out.

      So long as you have the crowd contained (which seems the case here), eventually parents with kids dissipate, older kids, the old, the not-so-passionate as well, such is the process of protests. After awhile, it’s the most passionate (read trouble makers) that stay— this is the only time you should go in, exercise “tactical patience”.”

      The question is what really happened? Did the NPA/leftists use kids as human shields?

      Did PNP not let people out? I know that situation from 1981 with the PC Metrocom, but then they were in greater numbers and we were trapped in the only gateway of a factory so they just pushed in and arrested us. Women cops arrested us so we did not give resistance.

      Now we have a number of conflicting accounts, but if one cops was surrounded already and might have panicked in self-defense who knows? The picture is forming but isn’t clear.

      • Madlanglupa says:

        > Did PNP not let people out?

        A woman was told by the organizers not to go home.

      • “Did PNP not let people out?”

        That’s basic crowd control, you have to let people out, but not let them in, hence containment via a perimeter. People have basic needs, so have them leave the protest for those needs, best leverage is egress.

        Separate the regular protesters from agitators, by promoting egress options.

  9. “Dark clouds gather over the Philippines. Satan smiles.” Joe.. are strangely similar. Economically, politically, socially. Mark Twain said history does not repeat itself – but it rhymes. I wonder how history will rhyme from 2016-2040. Scary.

  10. karlgarcia says:

    To RHiro,
    You are one of the leaders of a nationsalist civil society group.
    On the Fb page of KME, I see you had anti chacha rallies,no children is involved,but definitely some are minors or below 18.
    Had you have problems with dispersal units?
    How do you think this (cotabato)should have been handled?

    • R.Hiro says:

      Firstly going to the streets to advocate or fight policy changes is far different from farmers protesting for food and aid. The almost silly responses blaming first of all the NPA or leftist forces for the violent dispersal neglect to mention the fact that the act of going to the streets is precisely to get a reaction. The right to seek redress and all that.

      The local governor unfortunately seems to have been out foxed. Firstly from my vantage point there appears to be a lot of demonstrators. Sadly the policeman assigned there were probably not well trained and badly outnumbered.

      The farmers were committed obviously to face down the police. We still do not know whether people were actually shot. The cops were obviously overwhelmed by the size of the crowd. Again not good planning.

      Once the police phalanx was broken all hell broke loose. That is when I believe the cops may have started firing warning shots.

      Crowd control during a mass demonstration is hugely difficult. Look at the preparations during the SONA. Huge numbers of men in blue. Layers upon layers of cops to push back and well protected with shields and helmets. Looking at the pic displayed here the demonstrators had the upper hand. And hungry men know no Gods.

      Like it or not that is the democratic space groups are entitled to. So all sides will make noise. It is no secret that the national government announced alleviation measures were in place for drought hit areas. Apparently at the local level more had to be done.

      Another problem of the trickle down philosophy. These men reminded me of the EDSA III men storming the gates of Malacanang. Hordes of them refusing to be pushed back from the gates.

      If it is true that they were told back in January that aid would be given and little or none came well then hunger and anger do not mix well.

      I remember back during the GMA time when cheap rice became unavailable and people had to line up for hours to buy rice. GMA was shit scared it would explode into a mass movement vs her.

      Rules of political organizing…Agitate-Organize-Mobilize

      Hunger is food for revolutions. What does the left have to do with the reality.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Thank you for your very important inputs RHiro.

        • “Hunger is food for revolutions.”

          Within a hundred or so miles around Kidapawan, you have rubber, palm (oil), coco/sugar plantations, etc. basically plants grown in great numbers to satisfy foreign (mostly industrial) demand.

          I sensed that most farmers big and small in Mindanao (Muslims as well) were simply trying to ride that foreign demand fad— one day it’s palm oil, then the next it’s coco sugar, whatever the West was clamoring for at any given time.

          Ironically, the West is all about sustainable and local food production these days— veering away from industrial agriculture, knowing where the food comes from, visiting farmers and butchers, etc.

          I also got the sense that it was the gov’t that encouraged people to chop off their fruit, or edible plants just to grow plants you can sell to Western industry. Plants you can’t eat.

          Maybe Vicara would know the fine issue on this, but is the idea that maybe this isn’t an El Niño problem, but a wider agricultural policy issue,

          where people aren’t growing nourishing plants because they are busy growing plants they can’t use?

          Also, I noticed Filipinos didn’t mix it up over there. There’s more grain/starch available than just rice. What surprised me was how corn was seen as the poor man’s alternative over there— I love corn bread, corn tortilla, corn on the cob, etc.

          • karlgarcia says:

            Food vs fuel.
            plus when planting coconuts was he fad, they uproot the other tress then replsce them with coconuts.
            Maybe the same thng is happening with palm and jatropha.

          • Speaking from experiences of my late grandpa as posted somewhere here, he and his family and extended families as well, had crop rotation (to preserve the quality of the soil) crop diversification (for food substitutes) and raisng diversified domestic animals from horses, carabaos, cows, hogs and poultry (for self and commercial consumption)…basically food security and of course clothing and shelter needs as well. They rarely depend on government for assistance, mendicancy is a foreign concept to them…but they are generous to a fault to those in need, even giving more for others than to family. The wonder of it all is he has bountiful harvests season after season compared to his neghbors.

            Stories of his ancestors being raided by Hukbalahap and other criminal, indolent, pretending to be guerrilla fighters abound in those days.

            Shades of NPAs demanding revolutionary taxes and campaign permits for areas they control, instead of working their butts out so they can be self sufficient wherever they are.

          • Their crops included baguio beans, corn, all kinds of vegetables like snow peas, tomatoes, eggplants, peanuts (and their nitrogen fixing capabilities for the soil), green peas. The sell these in bulk in Tagaytay City markets so they can purchase fish, clothes and building materials to augment local bamboo, nipa and sawali and rattan.

            All species of bananas once planted will propagate on their own, new shoots will sprout, like bamboos, for future harvests.

            We have a wonderful country, the soil is rich, just needing TLC, tender, loving care, like the plants and animals we raise above them. Same with our other natural resources like fishing grounds, etc.

            Responsible citizenship, anyone? Instead of pure unadulterated mendicancy and government plunder.

      • “Crowd control during a mass demonstration is hugely difficult. Look at the preparations during the SONA. Huge numbers of men in blue. Layers upon layers of cops to push back and well protected with shields and helmets. Looking at the pic displayed here the demonstrators had the upper hand. And hungry men know no Gods.”

        Looks like at least 20:1 in terms of numbers for the demonstrators… the reports so far speak of one fire truck or water cannon, but the police had neither helmets nor shields. Also they did not stand in the SONA or APEC-style phalanx – the picture is quite clear.

        And no camera unit, which is best practice for potentially violent demonstrations – to have proof in case of charges. Attac-like groups have their own cameras nowadays as well.

        • butod says:

          Even Leni has now weighed in and asked for the suspension of the local chief of police to make way for a thorough investigation. She has also wondered aloud what the violent dispersal was for when protesters were only asking for subsidy and emergency assistance.

          The fact is, the governor was too proud to even try to negotiate with protesters for the food assistance and basically just allowed the permit to run its course for the police to come in; she treated the situation as a purely civil disturbance issue from day 1.

          Between her insistence that grains should be distributed by town LGUs posthaste, and the protesters’ refusal because the distribution by municipal LGUs will only be used as patronage leverage for cynical electoral ends, there was such wide room to maneuver and find creative, third-party solutions to outflank provocateurs spoiling for a confrontation. Again, the church (or inter-faith churches, as there are Moro towns similarly hard-hit by the drought in North Cot) could’ve been enlisted for help because they have the advantage of social capital (no provincial extremist openly declines sincere gestures from church leaders — doesn’t play well with the pious masa), non-partisanship and organizational spread (town- level dioceses and mosques, and basic christian communities down to the barangay level) to be designated as unloading and dispensing centers for emergency assistance, with actual distribution executed by lay workers and leaders, in cooperation with LGU representatives (MSSDO staff, no politicians) providing the beneficiary masterlist and local leaders of protesting organizations as observers for oversight.

          Exploring those kinds of options (and there are lots of permutations there I’m sure) could’ve been exhausted with protest leaders and mediators all throughout, in parallel with small reach-outs to the bulk of protesters with small gestures like handing out cold drinking water to, quite literally, allow heads to cool off. The mediator could’ve also made headway to get protesters to even partially clear the highway so traffic can flow more freely even while the protest goes on.

          That’s not to say the police should’ve been kept out, but they would’ve been really more useful as real peacekeepers to simply push back aggresive advances (several flanks of anti-riot police beside the firetruck did have helmets and shields on) and securing the NFA warehouse instead of playing into the hands of hotheads. Now they’ve really gone full-on police crackdown. looking for guns in the protestant compound; but no reports whatsover that firearms carried by police deployed during the dispersal were being inventoried and custodied for examination.

          Clumsy, clumsy, clumsy. But maybe it’s just me.

          • Joe America says:

            You know, I think Leni Robredo is perhaps the most mature political aspirant in the Philippines. The call for the top PNP officials to be suspended does not represent a criticism of the police. It is an action toward stepping down the hostility and putting in a framework for unbiased, transparent investigation.

            Cool down. Get the facts. Get food relief in. Stop using the event for political leverage. Find the people who behaved illegally, or leaders who used bad judgment (including trigger-happy police or protesters inciting violence). Punish them.

            • R.Hiro says:

              Notice Robredo’s question. They came asking for help why disperse them?

              She obviously could not call for the head of the governor.

              But please note relief goods are more often than not used a tool for political patronage. Trying to get the different levels of government to do their job simply because it is their job requires a cultural revolution.

              The mendicancy, sycophant way of governing is deeply embedded.

              That is why guys like Binay and Marcos have a chance of winning the elections. Disgusting but true.

              • Sup says:

                After reading a lot onlineyesterday and today i have to conclude this is a ”Mamasapano2@…

                The article’s with shouting politicians who are blaming the cops get a lot of attention in the comments but the article’s about the cops being attacked first get no response..

                Example, after more than 2 hours still no comment on this one…

                “I pity our policemen. They are there to secure the highway. We observed maximum tolerance,” Evangelista said.

                He explained that policemen directly involved in the dispersal were strictly ordered to only bring batons and shields.

                The mayor said that the policemen who brought rifles were assigned only to secure the protest area’s perimeter.

                He said that shots were fired during the violent dispersal when Senior Police Officer 2 Ric Untalan of the M’lang Municipal Police Station was shot and cornered by the protesting farmers.
                – See more at:


              • Joe America says:

                Senator Pia Cayetano’s comment reflects the same bias. She agreed with a tweet that there should be solidarity for the hungry farmers, as there was for France after the terrorist attacks. She equates the PNP with terrorists? This hostility against people who do dangerous, tough work on our behalf is beyond my Western-based comprehension. I can’t imagine how the good guys will ever win when loud forces side automatically against lawful authority.

              • Stuff like this – just out today – can help restore the trust in authority…


              • Madlanglupa says:

                > I can’t imagine how the good guys will ever win when loud forces side automatically against lawful authority.

                I cannot imagine but dystopian horror: the loudmouths would employ their own private armies of thugs in long shirts and assault rifles, rather than cops, empowered to arrest anyone even remotely doing anything wrong, in exchange for food, beer, internet access, etc. Just like the Cultural Revolution, only worse.

  11. Bing Garcia says:

    Did Grace Poe lie in her COC? She did: 1) She said she was a natural-born citizen because she was born to Ronnie and Susan Poe (in an official document of the Bureau of Immigration), and 2) she asserted in her COC for senator in 2013 that she had been a resident of the Philippines for six years and six months, which means that by 2016, she would have been a resident for nine years and six months. That does not add up to 10 years, the requirement for the presidency. Solita Monsod

  12. Madlanglupa says:

    I wish there were more concerned Kidapawan citizens to report as it is instead of the entire incident colored by melodramatics and grandstanding by exploitative parties in bigger media outlets.

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks for posting that. I had read it earlier today and found it a statement of good sense amidst an emotional outcry that contains precious little sense at all. Very little good will. A lot of hostile recriminations and bad will. I get tired of humanity when I see this behavior.

      Certainly a comprehension of and demand for civility seems a long way away.

      • Joe America says:

        Further information from the Palace (MLQ III):

        Citing a statement from Cotabato Governor Emmylou Mendoza, Quezon said the militant groups behind the protest include Anakpawis, Bayan Muna, Anakbayan, League of Filipino Students, SPMC, RCPR or Religious Church Promotion of Churches, Apo Sandawa Lumadnong Panaghiusa, and Gabriella Women’s Party.

  13. Sup says:

    “One of the dead rallyist yielded positive results during the paraffin test. The SOCO team also recovered 2 empty shells of calibre .45 at the area previously occupied by the rallyists and a deformed slug of calibre .38 at a makeshift station previously occupied by our police,” Mayor said in a statement.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

    • Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

      Pause for a while to pray for those who died for a kilo of rice or to keep the peace… Then study the issue. State violence or communist infiltration? Government insensitivity or civil irrationality? Place it in context. Why is Duterte hovering in the same place? Point. Who is Manny Piñol? Did rally organizers misrepresent by dangling rice distribution to hungry and desperate recruits? Point. Mendiola massacre, Luisita, Mamasapano, Kidapawan indicative of Aquino misrule, this from Binay, a stretch. Point. Go back to hunger. Drought. Powder burns on dead rallyist, gun shot wounds on policemen. Hmm. It’s not difficult to form an opinion. Reds will always be reds. Government is between a rock and a hard place. Binay can talk to the wall, the man has the credibility of a blind man in a house of horrors. Duterte fan base is ecstatic, watch how PNoy will be pinned, asked to resign. The usual suspects. Pray for the dead but turn the page please.

      • Will: “why is Duterte hovering?” – baka mananggal.

      • Madlanglupa says:

        I am entertaining the possibility that this is one of many tactics (I see the torching of the UP building as diversionary) to ensure this administration is seen as incompetent, maximize damage, and to maximize an opposition candidate’s chances of winning.

        The amount of political opportunism in this incident is obscenely huge, as some of these candidates and parties are using it as an excuse.

        I’m thinking too much about the burning of the Reichstag, the Plaza Miranda bombing, etc. Casus belli.

      • butod says:

        But Wil, how do you now explain that even indisputably Pnoy allies Leila de Lima (a stauch Duterte critic) and ex-CHR chair/Akbayan stalwart/CPP critic Etta Rosales are just as scandalized by the conduct of the police dispersal?


        “How could the local government be so insensitive to the impact of the drought on the farmers’ lives? Aid and relief should have been given ASAP. And even if the government felt the farmers had no permit, this did not justify the use of armed force against their right to free protest and free expression. These are basic rights and the root of their protest is hunger and apparent government negligence,” said Rosales.

        and here:

        “Former justice secretary and CHR Chair Leila de Lima condemned the “excessive use of armed special forces” in the dispersal of unarmed protesting farmers, calling for accountability by the PNP for the apparent “breakdown” of its maximum tolerance policy.”

        These two goddarned Pnoy yellows must now be moving closer to magenta….totally incendiary!

        • Madlanglupa says:

          It’s confusing, it’s hard to know who’s telling the truth and who should be punished: bringing guns in — from either side — would cause further agitation, especially in a situation this sensitive.

        • Joe America says:

          The event offended their sense of the ideal that force is a last resort, and they commented before all facts are in. Plus they are campaigning and it is hard to side against “the people”, when they are portrayed as innocent and hungry farmers. Now new information is coming out, and there is a backlash against the leftists who trucked poor farmers in with the promise of rice, then used them to stand against the police. We should wait and see if there is any recasting of the message as more info comes in.

          • butod says:

            CHR chair Gascon and ex-CHR chair Etta aren’t running, Joe.

            But fair enough, let the investigation proceed. That being said, must the investigation really be done locally? The findings that PNP spokesman Wilben Mayor refers to comes from the regional police command, which has direct supervision and control of local police that included the same personnel deployed in the dispersal.

            You marry that with other investigative steps taken so far — police eagerly looking for guns in protesters’ possession but still no word of even any plan to inventory and take into custody the firearms brought by the police personnel deployed during the dispersal forces for possible ballistics matching, early pronouncements of the arrest of an NPA leader who still curiously remains unnamed — and one gets the sense that the local police are looking at everybody but themselves as persons of interest here.

            Best to just turn this over to, say, the PNP-CIDG of Director Magalong, who did very creditably in leading the post-operations audit of Mamasapano (not because I liken this to Mamasapano, let’s be clear on that, but simply to make way for a fresh, thoroughly professional set of eyes to find out what happened). Legitimacy is crucial here, Joe.

            • Joe America says:

              Agree. That is Leni Robredo’s stand and makes a whole lot of sense. When egos and politics and self-rationalization are involved, we don’t always get what makes sense. What makes the most sense to me is the Mayor’s plea to the political players to get their protests out of her town. I think she feels her citizens have been used, and abused. At the front of caring for people, this is a local issue. When every poor farmer from miles around, penalized because of climate change weather patterns, are trucked in to form a protesting mass . . . and not allowed to leave, by the protesters, then it is hard to fault the Mayor. Or understand what the real issues are. Or have confidence that we are in any way ready to deal with the stresses of climate change. Too much politics.

              The CHR chair would of course be critical of any loss of life or police brutality. Let’s see if in future days it becomes clear that much of the brutality came from the protesters, not the police. CHR is not responsible for keeping roads open, I would also note.

              • Joe America says:

                For example, if the protester deaths were from blunt trauma (rocks) rather than police bullets, what is our conclusion? Who does CHR fault?

              • Joe,

                In Ferguson, MO where this whole #BlackLivesMatter stuff started, the police were actually dinged for failing to preserve the peace (same issue, failure to apply basic crowd control).

                It’s not about rocks and bullets anymore, once you have chaos, the question is usually who created the conditions for chaos— in this case in Kidapawan, you basically just had a sit in… so the police created the chaos that ensued.

              • Joe America says:

                Okay, we disagree. The police were trying to clear the road because the sit-in crowd had been there 4 days and it was illegal. The people who broke the law and stoned the police created the chaos.

              • Joe America says:

                Put a different way, there is no way the political agitators were going to leave this venue without a confrontation.

              • Proportionally, how these things go is that these agitators make-up the lowest number of folks.

                So when you apply proper crowd control the object is to separate wheat from chaff. The fact that there were still women and children and old folks there, means that they did not separate the crowd—

                after a couple of days, even hours, the sight of police moving in (the other purpose of boxing in) usually allows regular folks to leave the scene (light bulb moment, I’m not gonna get hurt for this).

                So why were there still women, children, old folks, when the police moved in? Don’t tell me they didn’t need to poop, pee, eat, drink, watch TV, etc.

              • Joe America says:

                How’s the armchair? I think police mob control is not a strength of the PNP. It is a bunch of fat, out-of-shape guys who take P100 payoffs to supplement their measly salary and support their families. They hobnob about town and socialize with each other and the locals and occasionally man checkpoints looking for motorcycle drivers without a license. They weren’t ready. Okay, I agree.

              • “I think police mob control is not a strength of the PNP. It is a bunch of fat, out-of-shape guys who take P100 payoffs to supplement their measly salary and support their families. They hobnob about town and socialize with each other and the locals and occasionally man checkpoints looking for motorcycle drivers without a license. “

                I wouldn’t go so far as to say that, Joe— that’s a little demeaning.

                My critique is purely in the tactics (in this case, not used).

                I know the PNP trains in basic crown control, every 3rd world police kinda have to master this dark art (they have to). Kidapawan is small time, but from the looks of it, they did get back-up, no doubt from Davao.

                So they had more than enough folks on the ground. Had they come up with a better game plan, they had enough people to do it.

              • Joe America says:

                Well, Davao police have nice equipment, firetrucks with real hoses, but they are also fat and sloppy and work for a Mayor who has his own little death squads to do the real work, so the police mainly hang out under the mango tree in front of the station, or run their own check points to gin up a few bucks. It’s the way it is here in the back woods of the Philippines. We don’t really get much practice at those urban crimefighting skills you ‘Merkins have, what with APC’s and SWAT teams and real radios. Our guys just hang around in bunches wondering what’s next. Their bosses are out back behind the fire trucks scratching their heads and behinds. They are just playing it by ear, and them someone with more authority than them says “use the trucks and clear the road.” So they do their best.

              • They are just playing it by ear, and them someone with more authority than them says “use the trucks and clear the road.”

                This wasn’t simply a leadership issue, Joe.

                Nor was it lack of training. I’m pretty sure PNP trains in crowd control (I can understand not mastering the Penal Code, or investigative skills, or the nuance in community policing, etc.) but crowd control is kinda a 3rd World thing.

                Why the PNP didn’t perform, at the very least the basics, basics, of crowd control, should be a big concern to many.

              • Joe America says:

                It is no reason to give violent thugs a free pass and excuse them from their acts whilst focusing in a condescending way on PNP shortcomings, from your armchair in America. I find the “brain fart”, superior attitude just a tad . . . well . . . obnoxious.

              • Joe,

                I’m simply critiquing the tactics (not employed in this case) and asking why. Your posts are condescending (not sure if you’re being facetious or truthful, but that’s on you and not me).

                I stand by my critique, it’s honest and insightful.

                Most PNP I met were solid (especially the leadership in Mindanao). These guys I know could’ve done better re crowd control— nothing condescending about that.

              • “It is no reason to give violent thugs a free pass and excuse them from their acts “

                I’m not siding with the thugs, Joe. The chaos created the violence in this case, hence if there are lessons to be learned, it’s on the side of the PNP that day.

                The anarchist movement is to be controlled, not succumbed to. Next time come up with a better game plan.

                I’m sure if there’s a PNP cop reading my posts, he/she would agree, and know where this critique is coming from. You’re reading it wrong.

              • Joe America says:

                When there is a speaker and a crowd, the onus of responsibility for being understood falls to the speaker. I think no PNP official had a brain fart. I think the police who were there were not skilled at crowd control or crowd psychology, either among the front line troops or leadership. I believe they were lured into a confrontation by militant leftists who are skilled at manipulating public emotions, and they are winning the PR battle. I believe you are helping them.

              • “I believe they were lured into a confrontation by militant leftists”

                How were they lured? Unless you’re privy to another video, I saw the PNP taking action while non-antagonists were still in the crowd.

                I saw no violent action prior to the water canons, but even if there were rocks thrown… if you see regular folks ( to include women, children, old folks ) still in that very crowd, you exercise discipline— getting “lured” is anathema to policing (it implies weakness).

                They weren’t lured, the PNP simply screwed up— that would be a fairer way of putting it, less condescending. 😉

              • Guys, please read the summary of the Powerpoint I posted below…

                it is obvious from the timeline that they had good plans… but there is a conspicious gap in the timeline from the “friendly” COMELEC memo to clear things and the rushed dispersion where the protesters were given 5 minutes to clear the road… what went wrong?

                Knowing Philippine situations, there must have been an order from very high up I refuse to speculate from where, and Filipinos tend to over rush when a big boss comes with orders.

                Again I don’t think it was the President… the other reports so far point to the Governor.

                Always factor in the subaltern mentality many Filipinos have and how the react when perceived big enchiladas get mad or seem to be angry. This aspect has to be looked at.

              • Ireneo,

                That would be really sad if some higher-up simply had a tantrum and decided to take action based on emotions— but still the PNP had all the time to deploy properly, mitigating any bad decisions from any higher up. Like making those snacks, water, first aid, available a couple blocks away (not too close), like ensuring that protesters weren’t too comfortable (nudging them back to their homes), etc. etc.

        • cha says:

          But why should their criticism of the local government’s handling of this problem and expressions of concern on the use of excessive force by the police have any bearing on the President? Neither Gascon, Rosales or de Lima are pointing a finger at the President.

          • butod says:

            But that’s exactly the point of Etta et al (and even Leni by the way), Cha. One can legitimately question the proportionality of the police response and the governor’s handling of the crisis (not just about the protest but about the emergency relief response) without making this about PNoy, because this has never been about PNoy but about a governor and local police dropping the ball over and over again.

            Were the protesters natdems/communist inflitrated? Absolutely. The protesters never denied from the start that they belonged to the Makabayan bloc. But last I checked, these organizations are not banned, and do have fairly large local constituencies among marginal sectors especially in Mindanao. Were any of them armed? Without jumping the gun (apropros, no?) on the investigation, I really think that’s highly unlikely. NPA combatants and armed partisans are known to completely stay away from their civilian comrades because that just invites too much unnecessary heat on non-combatants. Were any of them violent? Sure, the serious injuries of the two cops evidently show so. But that, even by the standards of Leni, Etta, Chito and Leila, didn’t justify police use of guns. Why even disperse them when they had not become unruly until after the water cannons were fired?

            I think many Pnoy supporters worry too much that this becomes about him just because the governor is Liberal. Well, she certainly is Liberal, but that doesn’t make her right on this. And this is more likely to become about Pnoy for as long as as his supporters don’t rightly call this for what it is.

        • cha says:

          See, even the President’s office has issued statements to the effect that none of the protesters should have had to die in the conflict and thus the need to investigate.

  14. karlgarcia says:

    Joe, when you composed the blog,did you have the Cotabato incident in mind?

  15. Cotabato governor refused rice donations for hungry farmers suffering from drought related problems…what gives?

    • karlgarcia says:

      Give it one week….if one week passes,it is no longer Monday morning quarterbacking,whatever that means, must be blaming the loser on a sunday football game and dissecting how they lost.BUT i am digressing.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Nang iinsulto at namumultika daw…si Duterte siguro,pano yung galing sa concerned Citizens from Davao? or from anywhere?

    • cha says:

      I watched the video of the governor’s press conference. She didn’t categorically said she will refuse donations. Aside from the comment about pamumulitika and pang-iinsulto, she asked politicians to stop using kidapawan as staging ground for their political campaigns which I think is but a fair ask.

      Also, the rice donations from citizens of Davao are being coursed through Duterte’s people because they were the ones that issued the call for it so that also comes with a distinct shade of political color. If Duterte and his people are really keen on helping the farmers, they should do so quietly, sans all the publicity and course it through proper channels as one would expect one local government unit to behave on matters pertaining to another local government’s issues. I read somewhere there were people from Davao who joined the protest in the Cotabato, maybe they should prioritize helping bring these people home and then give them the help they need at their own locality.

      Finally, how can the Cotabato governor even refuse the donations when they are not being offered through her but as we have seen in Robin Padilla’s case are delivered directly to the farmer groups with accompanying publicity shots featuring senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares? i don’t think we heard any efforts at all of the Cotabato governor or Kidapawan mayor to turn back Padilla or Colmenares.


    This is the PowerPoint Presentation of PNP… I have now taken time to summarize it…

    March 25: permit is applied… worries about leftist groups joining,.. intelligence they want to ransack the NFA warehouse and that it might coincide with NPA anniversary on March 28

    March 26: meeting on Security and Contingency Plan expecting casualties and injuries… Full Alert declared at 10 a.m. – initial deployment of security forces to warehouse

    March 27: Checkpoint operations, Intel fusion, monitoring of Methodist Church gathering, preparation for deployment and coordination with governor and mayor, ACP at warehouse

    March 28: 5 a.m. task force assembles at warehouse, intel about possible ransacking on next morning at 4 a.m., augmentation from 150 to 300 PNP personnel, fire trucks, army support

    March 29: 3000 rallyists start to gather at the Methodist Church. 6 a.m. blockade of highway according to intel operatives. Leading leftist personalities are identified by intel people. Personnel deployed and police negotiator designated, coordination with Mayor and Governor.

    Maximum tolerance and avoidance of violence is given as an order, food, aid and water stations including personnel with nursing background are deployed, contingency plans rehearsed…

    March 30: 6 a.m. rally starts on National Highway in front of Methodist Church, picture included. 8:40 a.m. crisis management committee is activated in Mayor’s Office of Kidapawan. Negotiations take place between mayor and rally leaders to attempt peaceful resolution of the crisis.

    March 31: Governor and Mayor meet the rallyists at the Diocese with religious leaders mediating. Lots of abbreviations but the other part seems military and police met to discuss scenarios.

    10:30 a.m. inspection, assessment, guidance… 2:30 pm. army/police continency planning meeting

    1 p.m. COMELEC sends memorandum to restore peace and order and clear the highway

    April 1. Resolution to clear the highway. 8 a.m. final briefing, 9:30 a.m. final instruction

    10:16 a.m. Mayor and two police officers tell protesters to vacate highway in 5 minutes and move along the roadside. Enforcement of police operation is ordered, what we all know about starts.

    PNP firearms were turned over to PNP Crimelab for inspection/investigation after that – this is to show that PNP investigated its own part ALSO at least they say so. The .38 and the .45 slugs and shells and the paraffin test are also mentioned here.

    The COMELEC memo is short… but why the hell are they involved all of a sudden and why all of a sudden this extreme rush to get people off the highway… it seems diplomacy broke down there inspite of all the well-laid plans.

    • Thanks, Ireneo…

      Did they ever describe how the PNP was set-up on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd days? Did they flank the crowd at any time? During the day in question, was their deployment basically what we saw in the drone video? ie. Mexican stand-off? You mentioned providing food and water, were there attempts to encourage those indulging in snacks, that it was time to go? ie., egress.

      Or was the 5 minutes the only time given?

      • Joe America says:

        haha, he’s yours, Irineo. Lot’s of luck, and thanks for the timeline.

        • Joe, I think me and Ireneo are pretty much on the same page on this. Where you’re focused more on the “leftists”. The PNP should bare the bulk of scrutiny here.

          • the biggest military in the world didn’t handle benghazi well so the fat policemen’s lack of training is just a third world country fact.

            • gian,

              Benghazi wasn’t crowd control.

              Crowd control is less complex, you box a crowd in, the PNP trains this over and over. Firearms training costs money, legal training requires hitting the books, crowd control is actually more like playing basketball, it’s simply about placement.

              PNP does crowd control, and basics are simple enough, box ’em in and let ’em pour out slowly. So if Ireneo’s right, that the poor cops were simply stressed out because of some higher power,

              what prevented them from deploying properly before hand? For 3 days no less. It’s not for lack of training, they know to corral ’em.

          • Joe America says:

            As I said, I disagree, the leftist militants should bear the bulk of scrutiny here, if we expect a law abiding society. Lessons can be learned about PNP procedures, but you won’t find me letting the violent protesters who manipulated things get off free so that I can beat up on some under-paid PNP guy risking his life for me and my family.

            • Fair enough, Joe, but you gotta be open to PNP critique as well, and not pull an edgar on me and feign offense. The disagreement I can respect— I always do.

              • Joe America says:

                It was no feign. I was offended by the “brain fart” remark. I think police have a thankless task sometimes. When they need backing the most is when some pretty nasty political players are using them as a part of their plan to undermine the state.

              • Brain fart = screw-up, Joe, that’s exactly what I’ve been hammering all along, that the PNP screwed up, in crowd control.

              • Joe America says:

                And I say it is unfortunate that you are feeding into the frenzy of blame that seeks to destabilize the nation. You are letting the instigators off free.

              • Guys, let’s try to find out what went wrong from a systemic perspective not blame-games.

                BEFORE the Senate hearing bullshit starts again and messes up things. Remember we have a broad readership and can find out what went wrong without looking for culprits.

              • ” the PNP screwed up, in crowd control.”

                I suspect a systemic weakness in the C3I structure… command, control, communication and intelligence… not incompetence on anybody’s part just insufficient coordination.

                The plans look pro-like but they tend to break down in the heat of action mostly – then people rush and are afraid to die or be blamed afterwards in a system that leaves the lower charges alone, lets the middle guys handle the details and looks for culprits only.

                Add to that a better organized enemy who knows these weaknesses – this applies to what both at Mamasapano and Kidapawan – MILF/BIFF there, leftist agitator groups over here.

                Being a former leftist I know how these guys USE the weaknesses of the state actors.

              • Edgar Lores says:

                It wasn’t feigned.

              • karlgarcia says:

                You were missed Edgar. I hope all is well with you.

              • “I suspect a systemic weakness in the C3I structure… command, control, communication and intelligence… not incompetence on anybody’s part just insufficient coordination.”


                I’m open to every level getting scrutinized here. But the placement and positioning of PNP personnel is a lot more telling (vis-a-vis C3I plans).

                The question I’d pose is what basic crowd control training is for PNP? How often they train? Match that to the game plan they chose (Mexican stand-off) in Kidapawan. Then ask why those basics were thrown out the window?

                “The plans look pro-like but they tend to break down in the heat of action”

                Pro-like, you’d have seen at the very least an “L” shape deployment. They were amassed on one side only. So the way the PNP was positioned elicited the break down.

                The 5 minutes wasn’t pro-like, they should’ve been encouraging egress throughout.

                This wasn’t pro-like, at all, Ireneo. Remember my critique isn’t so much the before and after, but the during.

                Focus on the during, and how they deployed— that tells you incompetence or simply a coordination issue.

      • 4 trucks were provided to ferry people out but the handlers prevented people from going by virtue of the rice they were promised.

      • Knowing Filipino leader and follower structures, I think the panic time was between the COMELEC memo at March 31 1 p.m. and the mad rush the next morning until 10:16 a.m.

        – mid-level folks try to do things according to procedures they hopefully understand
        – they order the lower-level folks and they pretend everything is OK according to bosses
        – higher-level folks are the ones everybody is scared of and mad rushes can ensue

        At lower and middle levels it is I think a lack of ability to speak truth to power and lack of ability of those very high up to listen to the middle levels because they lack on the ground experience – the power structures can be described as “post-feudal” which is the problem.

        Everything I have read so far on Mamasapano shows the same flaws – my experience with Filipino leadership structures (including a Cory state visit in Germany in 1989) bears it out. Of course the political blame games make it harder to find the truth because everybody looks for a culprit to hang instead of fixing the systemic and organizational flaws including the leadership weaknesses at all levels – mid-level suffering the most because they tend to be the most sincere and hardworking of all while low-level just tries to survive things in all the pandemonium, while high-level has a hands-off attitude – do it we don’t care how details are not our problem – like ordering maids to take away the dirt.

        What happened in the conspicious gap in the timeline at leadership level is the question.

    • The question I can’t seem to get my mind over is that if the PNP were still rescuing the women and children before the dispersal why were the fire trucks quick to use the water cannon? did the protesters escalate because the children and women in the crowd were being taken to safety?

      • Joe America says:

        You mean, like they WANTED a child to get hurt to win the PR battle? One wonders why the women and children were there in the first place. In a confrontation against authority. The asking for food was long past.

        • Joe America says:

          Maybe the violent militants have not been properly trained in civil riot techniques.

          • “One wonders why the women and children were there in the first place. In a confrontation against authority. “

            Maternal instincts pretty strong, Joe, so most likely because they weren’t given ample chance to leave. Did the “leftists” keep ’em against their will? They’d have made a lot commotion (again maternal instinct),

            so it had to be because they felt safe, hell the police were offering snacks and water forcrissakes, then all of the sudden water cannons!!!!!!!!!!!! Makes more sense with Ireneo’s big-whig throwing a fit and ordering

            dispersal as a complete surprise. 5 minutes!

            • Joe America says:

              Let me pop Will’s observation into the picture from a note that popped up in my Facebook timeline. It presents the bigger picture whilst we argue PNP training.

              “Regarding Kidapawan rally where both police and rallyists sustained casualties. Pause for a while to pray for those who died for a kilo of rice or to keep the peace… Then study the issue. State violence or communist infiltration? Government insensitivity or civil irrationality? Place it in context. Why is Duterte hovering in the same place? Point. Who is Manny Piñol? Did rally organizers misrepresent by dangling rice distribution to hungry and desperate recruits? Point. Mendiola massacre, Luisita, Mamasapano, Kidapawan indicative of Aquino misrule, this from Binay, a stretch. Point. Go back to hunger. Drought. Powder burns on dead rallyist, gun shot wounds on policemen. Hmm. It’s not difficult to form an opinion. Reds will always be reds. Government is between a rock and a hard place. Binay can talk to the wall, the man has the credibility of a blind man in a house of horrors. Duterte fan base is ecstatic, watch how PNoy will be pinned, asked to resign. The usual suspects. Pray for the dead but turn the page please.”

              • That I can respect, Joe, I know there’s a bigger picture here. Again my point is purely criticism of crowd control tactics, if a mid-level or low-level PNP policeman reads what I write and says, hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm… (thinking). Then I’ve succeeded.

        • what I mean is did the fire trucks act as a covering fire for the police rescuers? because in the videos women police were walking with the old people and children towards the safer areas. did the video people fail to record something.

          • The woman in the video posted by Madlanglupa also mentions firearms from within the protester crowd… meanwhile on my FB page I have been accused of “spreading lies”… there is one commenter saying LP was clearly at fault for not distributing the food.

            In fact that comment included “stop blaming people” my answer was then don’t blame LP let us try to find out the truth of the whole picture, what really happened from so many different evidences and witness accounts… and I think WE here should do that before the Senate hearing in aid of humiliation (c) Karl starts. Possibly there was a weakness somewhere in the food chain, literally, and then the leftists used that weakness to agitate. Somewhat like the DSWD rotting rice which everybody blames on Dinky Soliman usually.


              MANILA, Philippines – The violence-marred Kidapawan protest blockade was not about farmers’ gripes over alleged lack of government support for their losses due to El Niño, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said yesterday.

              Rather, Alcala said it was politically motivated, and the violence was instigated by left-leaning groups backed by the New People’s Army (NPA).

              Alcala pointed to local politicians in Mindanao identified with the group of Manny Piñol who are supporting the presidential bid of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

              According to Alcala, Piñol’s brother is running against reelectionist North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño, who is backed by the Liberal Party.

              “The reality on the ground at Kidapawan is that it’s politically motivated by the local politicians led by Piñol,” Alcala told The STAR.

              “Our brothers from the Left, who were observing the NPA anniversary last March 29, instigated the breakout of stone-throwing that led to the violence during the dispersal,” Alcala added.

              Based on field reports, Alcala noted that the militant farmers’ group led by Rafael Mariano of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) brought the farmers and fisherfolk to the highway with the alleged promise that they would receive sacks of rice from the governor.

              Alcala said that “this is an issue of misinformation. They intentionally misled the local farmers regarding the supposed distribution of rice.”..

              While indeed many farmers and fisherfolk were affected by the long dry spell due to El Niño, there have been bumper harvests of rice and corn in Kidapawan, Carmen and other areas in North Cotabato, and in Regions 11 and 12, Alcala pointed out.

              He said that Regions 11 and 12, including Kidapawan, are even among the “best performers” in rice and corn production despite the long dry period since last year.

              National government agencies like the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) have been giving “intervention” assistance in these areas because they are still under a state of calamity due to El Niño, Alcala explained.

              He said that he even visited Kidapawan City last February and March to talk to the local farmer groups regarding the issues they face.

              “We closely monitored the situation. And I think that not all of those involved were from Kidapawan. I believe that some of them were from other areas.”

              On the part of the DA, he said that one sack of hybrid rice seeds per hectare and one sack of fertilizer are given to farmers certified by the local agriculturist as having been affected by El Niño…

              Meanwhile, the National Food Authority (NFA) said it will also offer assistance to the farmer groups.

              “We are ready to transact with the DSWD and the local government unit regarding the rice that may be needed by the beneficiaries,” said NFA public affairs director Angel Imperial in a phone interview.

              He added that NFA administrator Renan Dalisay is currently in Kidapawan City to oversee the help that can be offered to the farmer groups. – With Louise Maureen Simeon

            • Another post from fm, hope someon can translate :happening now…two units of dumptrak of cotabato provincial government leaving the premises of methodist with more than hundreds of ralyista going home to malibatuan arakan…mupauli na daw sila kay nailad lng sila mao nakaabot sila dre..matagal na sila gusto umuwi pero pinipigalan sila ng mga organizer..

          • Joe America says:

            Ah, I hope we get some information on that. It deserves a look.

          • “what I mean is did the fire trucks act as a covering fire for the police rescuers?”


            My question then would be, how were these women/children/aged being stopped from leaving? Were they tied down, held at gun point, their families being held hostage back home… The logistics of all that is a lot more worrying, so Occam’s razor.

            Likely scenario, they went there expecting big things (they were promised, lied to).

            Which means, these non-antagonists were actually open to egress/evacuation plans— and getting yanked/rescued by PNP whilst water cannons are blasting is no rescue.

            PNP should’ve leveraged this fact (from the start) that most protesters wanted to go home,

            by offering them free ride homes, setting them up in the 4 so so colleges/schools in Kidapawan to sleep and head-out home, food & water away from the protest, etc. etc.

            PNP had an opportunity to entice egress, but why did they not do it? 😦

      • We should not forget that there were different commands around at Kidapawan.

        The PNP report has a lot of acronyms but there were at least 2-3 different groups from police if I am correct and there was the army. Seems things fell apart when “action” started.

        • You leverage those different units, not by crowding them in one place, but spreading them out, ie. Unit 1, you guys handle this intersection; Unit 2 you guys push thru; Unit 3 you guys bring in the stragglers, etc. etc. Instead the crowd was matched crowd for crowd.

          • In Filipino “commands” ego of “commanders” tends to dominate as soon as “battle” starts.

            I have seen this in a civilian situation (Cory state visit) and from what I have read about the Mamasapano massacre… things become “Lebanese” as soon as stress comes in.

      • “did the protesters escalate because the children and women in the crowd were being taken to safety?”

        If it looked more like kidnapping than rescue, gian, I’d say that’s possible. That’s why you can’t do egress within 5 minutes, it’s done systematically, ie. when they’re going off to pee or poop, or get their snacks and water, etc.

  17. Lim says:

    The younger generation are quick to side with the protesters without any investigation. All they see are “poor farmers” being shot. The PNP and other government agencies need political publicists. They should not have awarded the PNP with medals so soon. It is all the more going bad for their public image as more people cry “foul” when they do not even know the whole story nor want to bother to investigate. I am with the side of half-neutrality. I generally respect law and order, as a lot of rallyists are ill-informed, paid or too darn uncivil as they do not go through proper channels and decorum. They represent the poor who either want things handed to them on a silver platter or are impatient and lack practices of civility. I’ve observed around 60-70% fall on mob mentality, being instructed or hyped to go to whatever rally and make some noise like how Filipinos love to do it (hence the term Peenoise). A lot of them do not even know the true facts and rather resort to hearsay and opinions, easily angered by what they hear. By the accounts of some rallyists who were just sent there, I hunch it was plotted by he who should not be named. A lot of events are transpiring and it is easy to make chaos when one chooses to for political gain.


    A facebook video had surface detailing that the farmers were deceived to receive rice and cash assistance at Kidapawan City. The farmers were told that they would receive cash and rice assistance once they were in the city proper but they were redirected to the national highway and told to barricade at all cost. – the video is from March 30 and is therefore free from suspicion that it was created to justify anything.

  19. Madlanglupa says:

    As expected today, Manila Times is spearheading the demolition job, outright accusing the Prez for this class conflict disaster. Guess who’s dancing the jig now, or fiddling as Rome burns.

  20. Ground level video of Kidapawan dispersal.

    • – Filipino-Canadian Inquirer:

      MANILA – Interior and Local Government Secretary Mel Senen S. Sarmiento on Monday ordered the creation of two fact-finding panels to investigate the bloody confrontation between farmers and policemen in Kidapawan, North Cotabato Friday.

      Sarmiento said that the first panel, which will focus on the operational aspect of the dispersal, would be headed by the National Police Commission (Napolcom) under Commissioner Job M. Mangente; and the second panel, which will focus on the local government units (LGUs), would be headed by Director Manuel Q. Gotis of the DILG’s Bureau of Local Government Supervision (BLGS).

      He added the Napolcom’s fact-finding panel would focus on the actions made by the Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel and their commanders who were on the ground when the incident happened while the LGU panel would look at the measures taken by the concerned LGUs in addressing the El Niňo problem in their area of responsibility.

      Sarmiento said that like most people, he was puzzled as to how the farmers’ protest became violent that left at least three people dead and 10 farmers and at least 99 policemen injured , two of whom sustained serious trauma injuries.

      Of the three fatalities, two were killed as a result of the confrontation while one died of heat stroke.


    LOS BAÑOS, Philippines—The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) have been working together to breed and disseminate seeds of drought-tolerant rice varieties that can better survive the ongoing El Niño phenomenon.

    “It is the poor farmers who suffer the most from the effects of climate change,” said Dr. Bruce Tolentino, IRRI’s deputy director general for communication and partnerships. “This is why IRRI has been working hard to develop climate change-ready rice varieties that can withstand extreme climatic conditions such as droughts, floods, heat, and cold, and soil problems such as high salt and iron content.”

    Rice farmers who are currently struggling with the effects of El Niño are particularly interested in drought-tolerant rice varieties. The ongoing El Niño is expected to cause much lower rainfall in the first half of 2016 throughout South and Southeast Asia, which includes the major rice-growing countries.

    “El Niño conditions will worsen livelihoods and may also lead to insufficient food supply for vulnerable farm households,” said Dr. Reiner Wassmann, climate change expert at IRRI.

    Scientists at IRRI have developed and released drought-tolerant varieties–those that can produce up to 1.2 tons more per hectare than varieties that perform poorly under drought conditions–in several countries, including Sahbhagi dhan in India and the Sookha dhan varieties in Nepal.

    • Bill in Oz says:

      The folks at IRRI are not thinking beyond the square..more rice varieties for subsistence rice farmers ? It’s time for farmers in the Philippines to grow & process other crops that will yeild a good income and so escape from poverty..Growing rice will never do that.

      • Joe America says:

        Conceptually, that makes sense to us potato eaters, or whatever y’all eat in Upsidedown Land. I eat one or two meals of rice per day, my wife, always three. Rice is food to poor people, more than a choice or staple. It can served plain or with salt or with a bit of bird shot from the trees last night. Or a can of corned beef for celebrations. Other foods cost too much. Rice is dependable. Corn is not. As the nation gets richer, your argument can perhaps happen. Farmers should do whatever the market demands, and today it is demanding rice. Lots of it.

        By the way, I didn’t know if you knew, the genetics program at IRRI is funded generously by Bill Gates.

      • Jake says:

        Rice is good income for Filipino farmers as almost everyone in the Philippines eats rice — even rich people have it as a staple. They just buy the more expensive rice and better quality rice.

        I’ve tasted the NFA rice(most likely the imports from Vietnam or India) and they taste crap. I prefer the more expensive Sinandomeng/Jasmine rice.

        On top of that, there are also different snacks made of rice and rice flour. Filipinos can make those sweetened rice puffs for export. I’ve seen it being sold at Costco except those were made in Korea.

        The government should help/assist in bringing in newer technologies and providing better irrigation

        • Bill in Oz says:

          Jake Traditional rice growing in Asia may be a staple needed by everybody but most of the people eating it are poor. Poor Filipinos want cheap rice ! So there are lots ( millions ) of poor subsistence rice farmers growing a crop which gets a low market price….
          This process goes round & round in circles with each family having lots of kids and the and available for each family becoming reduced. And worse poverty….So folks move to the cities and often become homeless and have no jobs and live in slums like Tondo…

          But that is not your problem as you have a good job and home and can buy expensive Jasmine rice or sinangdomeng rice.. But it is your fellow Filipinos who are locked in the cycle of poverty….

          Moving out of poverty for poor land poor farmers means growing crops wanted by rich people which can be processed & packaged locally by farmers… I listed a few the other day ..But there is one which I forgot : Cold pressed coconut oil.. Cold pressed coconut oil is becoming a major product sought after in western countries because it is a healthy oil unlike canola which is a trans fat that causes heart disease.
          An Australian private Philanthropist has developed a cold pressed coconut oil program in the Solomon Islands…It is generating real income for poor villagers for a high value oil demanded globally. ( And no I do not mean copra which is cheap and not in big demand at all )
          And the Philippines has huge tracts of coconut trees many of which are never harvested..for want of knowing what to do with the nuts to produce a high value oil

  22. Bill in Oz says:

    As the song says ” I come from the land Down Under ” -never been to upside down land :-)…
    My comment is still valid..Rice does not yeild substantial income for rice growers and if there was a free market( instead of a regulated market ) the price would fall…So that is no way up & out of poverty..even if it’s is is drought proofed.
    That’s why I think there is a need for research in other cash crops that can be grown on small intensively managed farms and processed locally..

    Such crops capture the added income of value adding..And so help reduce poverty..
    By the way there are West African varieties of rice which are already drought hardy… a slightly different species but a major cropper there..


      The sooner the government realizes the Philippines cannot produce enough rice and is better off importing the staple food from Thailand, Vietnam, India and the United States, the better.

      Farmers in the Philippines would be better off being given support and training to grow other crops.

      • Joe America says:

        Woe to any president who is in office when there is a weather disturbance or other cut in the supply from overseas. Rice shortage means HUGE criticism. It would make MRT gripes look like patty cake.

      • Jake says:

        The only crop where we can compete, at least in Asia (disregarding competition from Latin America) is bananas and pineapples. And our neighbors are not exactly bananas over that. Some of our neighbors grow bananas too.

        Aussies even tried to apply banana protectionism against Philippine bananas

        We can’t grow corn since Asians don’t really eat it and the Americas produce it since they are corn-eaters. They actually produce too much that they feed it to poultry animals.

        Ah, to be a banana republic.

        I think the best is, the Philippines could try to get the monopoly on the golden rice, or GMO rice (non-Monsanto). Not all GMO is bad. Scientists are experimenting on fortified rice.

        • Bill in Oz says:

          Hi Jake & Joe, Australia bans the import of almost all fresh fruit, vegetables and meat for quarantine reasons.Australia does not have a large number of plant pests & diseases present elsewhere in the world – including the Philippines.

          Many other countries have import bans on fresh meat, fruit and vegetables and plant materials. In fact the Philippines has them as well..

          The Philippines government ( on behalf of a big banana corporation here ) tried a few years ago to get the WTO to rule this ban an unfair restraint on trade. Eventually a ruling got handed down by the WTO expert panel that said banana exports to Australia should be allowed IF they met the phyto-sanitary conditions needed. Australia accepted that ruling but so far it has been tooooo expensive & difficult for banana growers here to meet those phyto-sanitary conditions. !..So yes there are no Filipino bananas in Australia…

          Meta thought : The whole exercise was a waste of time and money !

          Golden Rice is interesting as an example of scientists being stupid :The idea is to insert DNA coding for vitamin A into rice because of a lack of vitamin A in the diet of the poor leading to blindness…Ummmmm..

          The scientists involved achieved their aim of inserting the DNA..And I think Monsanto which started this research released the patent to the public domain so anyone could use this technology..I think the Gates foundation put money in too…

          However folks forgot a few basic facts : Vitamin A is readily available in camote ( sweet potato ) leaves and kang kong leaves..( Remember your mum saying “Eat your greens !!” )

          And these greens grow pretty readily in the Philippines without much effort by farmers..So this scientific project was really a money wasting wild goose chase !! Maybe something useful will come out of it in the future if it is used on other crops…But don’t bank on them as exports.Many countries ban the sale & import of GMO’s food crops.

          • Joe America says:

            The golden rice research is still going forward, and I doubt that the Gates Foundation would attach its name to a program that was shown to have serious health consequences. Developing rice that can deal with salt water and drought and disease seems to me to be highly prudent. And, again, we are talking about a deep, culturally developed way of life, the eating of rice. People don’t choose for nutritional value, but because they eat rice. it is just what they do, and have done, and will do. I think this is a case of your idealism being ideal and reality being something else. It’s kind of like Micha’s idea that countries should just use their own currency and print as much money as they need. Cool, until you try to implement it and find reality is out there.

            • Bill in Oz says:

              No health consequences have been found for Golden Rice. That was not my point..Rather camote and kang kong are out there in the fields like weeds…So why spend money on a ‘non problem’.

              I am not being idealistic Joe.Just practical minded..solving a problem..I can only make the suggestions..And I have not suggested that folk stop eating rice….Just grow other crops more in demand in a global economy..I did make a long list about 4 days ago…Just cannot find it..But the characteristcs of such crops are simple : easily cleaned and processed dried & packaged; low bulk for easy transport;and high value in rich world economies…Cold pressed coconut oil is great example..It is reputed to assist dementia people recover mental capacity…It’s supplement with high value in the US and Australia..I’ve seen it for sale at $9-12.00 a small 8 oz jar…(About 400 pesos retail price )

              • Joe America says:

                Perhaps you should start a “camote fries” franchise. Slogan can be “tastes like diapers, but lots of vitamins”. Kamote is actually widely planted here as a back yard crop. It spreads like weeds and takes little care. But I hate the stuff. heh heh I’ll take ampalaya any day.

              • Jake says:

                Camote is bulkier and heavier than rice. Rice is space efficient like sugar.

                Coconut farmers are paid lower or as low as rice farmers. Which is why it is cheap in developed countries. Besides, Thailand and Vietnam can grow these, which means competition and they will have the advantage because of their more efficient infrastructure.

                But then, you have not really suggested crops that is “better” to plant without improving current infrastructure.

                One thing we should also bear in mind, Thailand and Vietnam greatly subsidize their farmers like the US subsidized their wheat and corn farmers.

              • Jake says:

                There really is not any crop that the Philippines can be competitive in if it will not improve its infrastructure and efficiency.

                Why ?

                Its native crops are available in many Asian countries esp its neighbors with better infrastructure. The other crops are crops brought from Latin America that Asians do not even consume. Ever seen sayote really used in Thai or Malaysian cuisine or Japanese cuisine? Most vegetables in the Bahay Kubo is actually not native to the Philippines.

              • Bill in Oz says:

                No longer current I know..But the Enquirer today published figures for coconut copra exports for 2014-5..Volume & value are both down..But the really interesting thing is that copra makes about a $1000.00 tonne or a $1.00 a kg. as a bulk part processed commodity… ..While cold pressed coconut oil, which is processed much higher up the value chain, and earn roughly ( by my guestimate ) $10.00 a liter…

          • Jake says:

            Here is the thing: rice is the most accessible food to poor Filipinos and white rice can be stored for so long. 10 years at most.

            GMO is actually a blanket term…GMO has been practiced since the dawn of agriculture.

            People here have been saying plant crops instead of rice? But what crops? Kamote, corn, cassave won’t sell much in Asia as it is not staple and not in high demand nor is it “en vogue” like wheat based products (sandwich, breads). Sell to America? They grow this in the US and Latin America efficiently and cheaply. Coffee? Chocolate? Easily available in Latin America and Africa. Why the hell do you think you dont see Philippine bananas and pineapples in the US? Easily sourced from Latin America and due to proximity, it is closer

            The best is for the Philippines to improve its agriculture technology and irrigation and plant the rice that have high yield or what the Philippines can monopolize

            Maybe, the Philippines should just make itself literally a banana and pineapple republic. And the high amount that the Philippines will produce will just lower the price of these crops.

            “And, again, we are talking about a deep, culturally developed way of life, the eating of rice.”

            Exactly my point as to why the Philippines should look into producing the golden rice should there be a breakthrough. Rice is very integral part of the Philippines – you cannot take it away. Rich and poor Filipinos eat it. That is why you cannot just tell them eat camote for this and that.

            The main problem in the Philippines is lack of infrastructure – irrigation and roads which makes agri development inefficient.

            Might as well turn all agri lands into malls if were talming about what yields more money.


            The German Embassy in Manila granted Php480,000 to GreenEarth Heritage Foundation, Inc. (GEHFI) on July 10 2012 under its small-scale projects scheme.

            The funds will be used for the establishment of a drip irrigation system for 10,000 moringa trees (locally known as ‘malunggay’) in their pilot plantation in San Miguel, Bulacan.

            • Bill in Oz says:

              Well guys, I am not an advocate of growing camote as a commercial crop. I just know the leaves are loaded with Vitamin A and that this vitamin is needed to prevent blindness…So no bloody reason to grow GMO’d golden rice…

              But then I bought the Enquier today. Read page A21 about northern Luzon. The headline reads ” Profit follows farmers who went home to plant comote”

              Over 5000 hectares were planted to comote in Tarlac province in 2014. A hectare yields 30 metric tonnes. A 100 kg sack sells for 1300 pesos. Total income 390,000 pesos. Net income after deducting costs of the crop 270,000 pesos…

              There are choices to be made : Grow rice and stay poor forever while you eat good tasting home grown rice. OR : Grow comote and get up out of poverty and buy your rice to eat.
              You are a practical minder bloke Joe. What would you do ?

              PS , Joe, Is it possible for you to search for comments I’ve made. Last Friday/Saturday I brain stormed a list of cash crops for tropical areas which are good yeilders..But I cannot find it…

    • Joe America says:

      Kindly explain your links as a courtesy to readers, so they can know whether or not to click over. This one:

      “This is an expression of what organizations are affiliated with the Communist Terrorist group of Jose Maria Sison”

  23. Bill in Oz says:

    @Jake @Jake Bill in Oz says:
    Copied & abbreviated for your info Jake from my comment of the March 31, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    How can agriculture become a dynamic productive prosperous part of the economy ? In part it can by specialising on crops that are high value and which can be processed onshore in the Philippines. A few crops spring to my uninformed mind : garlic, tumeric, ginger, galangal, artemesia, sacred basil, vanilla, cardamon, cinammon, coconuts,black peppers, brahmi, stevia, etc. I’m sure that there are others.

    Growing & processing such crops will need farmer expertise ( from practical training ) and the capacity to process the crop ( cleaning, drying, basic packaging ) and that means electricity and investing in basic processing equipment .

    I suggest growing them certified organically for export to the growing market for organic products in the USA, Europe, The UK, China ( yes China !! ) Japan, Hong Kong, and even Australia. All of these come to mind because they have medicinal properties as well as being foods.

    This type of agricultural development has been I know been happening in Indonesia, Malaysia the Pacific Islands and Sri Lanka for the past 10 years. It is one of the reasons why the agricultural sector of these countries has become slowly more prosperous.

    However in the Philippines most farmers are small subsistence farmers growing rice and some vegetables for personal use. And rice is a very cheap low value crop. The Philippines cannot sell rice on the world market as an export crop, because there are other cheaper rice growing countries. ( Think Viet Nam, Cambodia, Thailand, etc. )

    The only country which has a prosperous small farmer rice growing sector is Japan. And Japan does it by banning imports of rice from any other countries and by paying it’s small rice farmers massive subsidies.

    The Philippines cannot afford to go down the Japanese road at all. There is not the tax revenue to do it.

    So going along the path of high value, dense, processed crops is the only alternative. And there will be a higher export price if they are organically certified.

  24. Madlanglupa says:

    Unsurprisingly, he takes to the new low. As though he sees himself as the Sultan of Mindanao.

  25. – from a PNP cop with his own blog:

    “The Kidapawan incident is clearly a failure of leadership at the regional level. In plain and simple language: it is the fault of Armilla for failing to take control of the situation.” – an excellent article from the epicentre of coolness (c) MRP and Joe: The Visayas:

    Judgments of being stupid and a paid hack in many online posts (and I presume also in face-offs) are not only unfair but totally uncalled for. Unfair because to conclude that somebody criticizing a candidate is being paid by the opposing camp is too big a blind leap for supporters who hardly know one another…

    We can help each other make a good choice by disagreeing civilly. We must keep the hate wave from becoming a virtual tsunami that will make it impossible for any leader, no matter how gifted, to pluck us out of its nation-killing undertow.

    • Joe America says:

      I did not follow the Kidapawan senatorial hearing because Senator Cayetano was a main player, and it was pretty obvious that he is not interested in a true discovery, but doing what any ethical body or court would not permit, a person with a personal vested interest engaging in a matter which should be judged fairly. When the judges are corrupt, or the senatorial committee heads . . . corrupt in the sense of having no ethical boundaries . . . there is little likelihood of justice or good fact-finding being done. I can imagine another hatchet job report being done, like the Mamasapano report, trying to ascribe blame outside the arena of the main decision-makers.

      Situation normal.

      • I do respect the opinion of PulisNaPogi because he is a cop himself… his is a voice of sense in all the clamor. A failure of leadership at the regional level is NOT the fault of the President… covering up would be if he did. Being silent until truth is known is the best and that is what President Aquino is doing right this time and getting criticized for. In fact that communique issued by MLQ3 was an example of perfect communication. Good that they let HIM who knows how to communicate do the job and not the usual Palace people.

  26. sweetlavyah says:

    After being so silent for several months here’s from the wife of the policeman who was critically injured during the rally dispersal in Kidapawan City last April 1, 2016:

    I appreciate how Philippine National Police continues to boost the morale of its personnel especially this ‘time- for- change- labelled’ administration. After the April 1 incident where my husband fought for life due to traumatic brain injury caused by mauling, fingers pointed blames on the PNP. Well, if that is their stand, what else can we do.

    Now here’s the update of SPO2 Rick M Untalan’s status. He was discharged from the hospital last June 3. 2016. He is now on recovery stage. Physical health has improved a lot but communication seems to be very difficult due to lack of speech with only minimal hand and eye signals. His memory is still inconsistent but shows improvements while daily therapy continues. I have to leave my job in order to fully support and provide personally the proper health care for my husband. Despite all of these, what else can I say but policemen’s job is an appreciation of both life and death. I have nothing against the PNP, the government, the farmers or the rallyists or anyone else because I know, if my husband can talk this time he will always stand for what he is supposed to do as a policeman—-that is to uphold the law, peace and order. In short, that’s part of his job. Kudos to the people who believe in what a true and loyal policeman can do for his country!

    • Joe America says:

      The police indeed have a difficult job, between innocent people and people who would cause harm. Like regular people, there are policemen of great compassion and those not so gracious. They walk the fine line between law and order, or freedom and orders. They can be for service, or they can be otherwise.

      Thank you for the update on Officer Untalan and the praise for the police doing the hard work every day.

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