SENATE minority leader Juan Ponce Enrile on Wednesday expressed dismay over the supposed lack of concern of the Aquino administration on the problem besetting farmers in Mindanao that led to a violent dispersal of a rally early this month in Kidapawan City.
Enrile blew his top when members of cabinet invited to attend the second public hearing of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights did not show up and instead sent their respective representatives.
The panel chaired by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel 3rd invited Interior Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson and Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad.
“We are talking here of policies. Is this the way your department look at this problem of the country involving voters, citizens?” Enrile asked the representatives sent by the cabinet secretaries.
Enrile noted that the incident in Kidapawan affected 6,000 people.
“What is the impelling problem of your department that keeps him out of discussing a problem of the country and our people as important as this one?” Enrile asked DILG Regional Director Reynaldo Bungubung, who represented Sarmiento.
Bungubung said Sarmiento could be attending to some urgent matters.
“This is a question of attitude and efficiency in government,” Enrile fumed.
The absence of the cabinet secretaries, the senator said, clearly shows how the government looks at the problems of the country and how it treats its so-called “bosses”
Three people, including two farmers, were killed and more than a hundred were wounded when protesting farmers were dispersed on April 1.