Cotabato police chief sacked as PNP probes bloody clash
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) confirmed the relief of Senior Superintendent Alexander Tagum, Cotabato provincial police chief, pending the results of a probe into a bloody clash between cops and farmers that claimed the lives of at least two people.
According to PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Wilben Mayor, Tagum was relieved on Monday, April 4, “pending the result of the investigation.”
The PNP has formed a special team headed by a 2-star general to probe possible lapses that led to the bloody clash on April 1, 2016.
Over 4,000 farmers staged a protest along the national highway in Kidapawan City, demanding rice and aid in the face of extreme drought caused by El Niño. But the clash turned bloody, leaving more than 100 injured, including police personnel and protesters.
Police have been criticized for supposedly using too much force in dispersing the rallyists, although government officials insist they exercised “maximum tolerance.” (READ: Beyond the noise: Establishing the facts, accountability in Kidapawan)
With Tagum’s relief, Senior Superintendent Jose Briones Jr, who is the Cotabato region directorial staff chief, serves as the province’s officer-in-charge. – Rappler.com