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Palace unfazed by farmers’ ‘zero votes’ for Roxas

Malacañang on Tuesday shrugged off the threat of a militant farmers’ group that it will deliver “zero votes” for administration candidate Mar Roxas in the May 9 elections following the violent dispersal of Kidapawan farmers last month.

Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said that everyone has the right to vote according to their conscience.

This, after reports revealed that militant farmers group Kilusang Mambubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and human rights group Karapatan vowed to deliver “zero votes” for Roxas and two other Liberal Party (LP) candidates – North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza and Kidapawan City Mayor Joseph Evangelista – following the violent dispersal of Kidapawan farmers last April 1.

“Sa ating demokrasya, may kalayaan ang mga mamamayan na bumoto ayon sa kanilang konsensya at saloobin,” Coloma said.

Earlier, the Palace said it believes that there were farmers who were not from North Cotabato who participated in the protest in Kidapawan City that led to the violent clash with the police last April 1.

Coloma also said the Kidapawan incident is being politicized.

Last April 1, protests from farmers turned violent after the police dispersal in Kidapawan City. At least two farmers died from the incident and injured several others.