MANILA - Actor and ''Game ng Bayan'' host Robin Padilla on Saturday donated 200 sacks of rice to the drought-hit farmers of Kidapawan City, North Cotabato.
In the photos taken by Kilab Multimedia, the 46-year-old Padilla was seen sympathizing with the farmers, who have been pleading assistance from the government amid the ongoing El Niño.
Around 5,000 farmers and militants have barricaded the Kidapawan City national highway for three days to demand the release of 15,000 sacks of rice subsidy. On Friday morning, police clashed with the protesters, leaving two farmers dead and dozens wounded.
Padilla has already expressed his disgust over the incident. "Ang mga magsasaka ng Inangbayan Pilipinas pinagbabaril sa kanilang mapayapang paghingi ng tulong sa kanilang gobyerno," he wrote on his Instagram account as the caption to a photo of an injured farmer.
Speaking to ANC on Saturday, North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Mendoza maintained that the police officers had exercised maximum tolerance during the farmers' protests.
The Commission on Human Rights has already deployed a fact-finding team from Region-12 to the city to facilitate an investigation.
Among the others who have visited the farmers in Kidapawan City were leaders coming from the Roman Catholic, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, and Iglesia Filipina Independiente.
Bishop Redeemer Yanez, Jr. of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente said the incident was an unfortunate one for the farmers who only want food.
"Nakakalungkot para sa simbahan itong nangyari na ang bigas naging bala. Alam namin na talaga gutom ang mga taong ito dahil matagal nang nararanasan ang drought dito sa probinsiya," said Yanez.