Police harass investigation related to El Niño in Ilocos Norte

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This article is available in Pilipino

The local police arbitrarily confiscated questionnaires distributed by the Alliance of Farmers in Ilocos Norte (AMIN) which inquired about the condition of the community during this El Niño season in Barangay Puzol, Pinili on May 10. AMIN said police officers PSSG Russel A. Cabie and Francis Tabladillo entered a resident’s house to confiscate the documents.

AMIN condemned the police for blocking the activity and residents in the said barangay. The group said the questionnaires only aimed to investigate the impact of drought and hot weather this season of El Niño.

“This is clearly a form of harassment, where police suppress citizens’ initiatives,” the group said. It said this is blatant interference and usurpation of the authority of the local barangay officials to coordinate with the farmers.

“So we ask the Pinili Municipal Police, why did you stop the initiatives of the Pinili farmers?!” they asked. They demanded that the state’s police and armed forces stop all forms of repression in their democratic activities, especially their collective cooperation during the El Niño season.

Conservative government estimates said at least 11,815 families in 178 barangays of 20 towns and cities are affected by the dry season and drought in Ilocos Norte. The two provincial towns are under a “state of calamity.”

Nationwide, the damage caused by the drought has reached ₱6.35 billion, with the rice sector being hit the most with ₱3.3 billion in damages. The calamity affected 112,000 hectares of agricultural land, with 30% completely damaged.

AB: Police harass investigation related to El Niño in Ilocos Norte