Quiambao said according to the Rural Health Unit of Bayambang, as well as the Bayambang Police Station, there were no suicide cases recorded in their municipality this year in relation to the skyrocketing prices of onions.
“Walang katotohanan ang kumakalat na balita tungkol sa limang magsasakang nag-suicide sa bayan ng Bayambang dahil sa pagtaas ng presyo ng sibuyas,” she said in a statement.
(There is no truth in the news spreading about five farmers who committed suicide in the town of Bayambang due to the increase in the price of onions.)
“Marahil ang tinutukoy sa bali-balita ay ang naitalang kaso ng isang magsasaka na nagpatiwakal noon pang Enero 2021, subalit ito ay hindi dahil sa presyo ng sibuyas, bagkus ay dahil sa pananamantala ng harabas (army worms),” she added.
(Perhaps, what is being referred to in the news is the recorded case of a farmer who committed suicide in January 2021, but this was not because of the price of onions, but because of the exploitation of army worms.)
Quiambao also clarified that no one was harassed amid the investigation being conducted by the police following the orders of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on the alleged suicide of five farmers as mentioned during an inquiry of the Senate committee on agriculture, food, and agrarian reform.
“Muli, nililinaw po namin na walang nagbigting mga magsasaka at walang pinapahirapang mga kababayan natin nang dahil sa pagtaas ng presyo ng sibuyas. Patuloy rin ang ating suporta sa sektor ng agrikultura upang masiguro na napangangalagaan ang ating mga lokal na magsasaka,” she said.
(Again, we make it clear that no farmers have hanged themselves and no one of our fellowmen has been tortured because of the increase in the price of onions. We also continue to support the agricultural sector to ensure that our local farmers are protected.)
“Muling pinapaalalahanan ng LGU-Bayambang ang bawat isa na maging mapanuri sa mga kumkalat na impormasyon. Hinihiling din ng pamunuan na huwag gamitin ang isyu na ito upang gawing biro ang isyu ng mental health o suicide,” she added.
(LGU-Bayambang once again reminds everyone to be critical in the information being spread. The leadership also requests not to use this issue to make a joke about the issue of mental health or suicide.)
On Thursday, Senator Imee Marcos said police went to the house of Merly Gallardo in Bayambang, Pangasinan and asked the latter to sign an affidavit retracting her statements on Monday, January 16, that her husband committed suicide due to millions worth of debt gained due to onion farming. (SunStar Philippines)