On the 1 April, 2016 Darwin Sulang was killed during the bloody dispersal of a farmers protest in Kidapawan City. Sulang, 22, was a farmer and tricycle driver. Over 6,000 protesters, primarily farmers and their supporters from drought-stricken areas in North Cotabato and Bukidnon provinces on the southern island of Mindanao had gathered to call for government food aid and other relief. The national police, wearing military style uniforms and wielding M-16 assault rifles attempted to break up the gathering in an operation that quickly turned violent. Shooting broke out on the police side and resulted in the deaths of both protestors and by-standers.
It was three days before his father Ebao Sulang discovered that his son had been killed. He was brought to the morgue in Kidapawan City to identify the body. Darwin suffered head wounds from a blunt object and his father was told this was the cause of his death however a second autopsy revealed that he had also received a gunshot wound.
When Darwin’s remains was brought home and buried, Ebao experienced a series of harassments from state security forces. There were also attempts by the local government to settle the case. “I am proud of Darwin because he died fighting. I hope in his death, we will get what we is due to us, and that we will get justice for what happened to him.” said Ebao about his son.