The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today denounced GRP President Rodrigo Duterte for his “total contempt of lives of civilian people’s lives who he callously considers mere ‘collateral damage’ in ordering the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to employ all its assets in an “anything goes” campaign to drop bombs and “flatten the hills” against the New People’s Army (NPA).
Addressing the AFP and Philippine National Police (PNP), Duterte declared, “I will allow the police and the military this time to use all available assets. Use them. We have new aircraft, jets. You will see it because I told them to fly them. Use them. Use the rockets. If there are collateral damage, I’m sorry.”
“In ordering the AFP to carry out aerial bombings, Duterte risks indictment for war crimes as he puts thousands of civilians in the line of fire,” said the CPP. “Aerial bombing runs as well as shellings endanger the lives of thousands of people in civilian communities wherever these are conducted by the military.”
“The AFP has never effectively employed aerial bombings and shelling against the guerrilla units of the New People’s Army,” pointed out the CPP. “In dropping bombs, the AFP succeeds only in injuring civilians and causing massive displacement of communities as a form of punishing the people, especially those who are waging mass struggles for land reform and opposing mining and plantations operations.”
“Aerial bombings and shellings also cause massive destruction of agricultural fields and the environment, especially water sources,” added the CPP.
The CPP pointed out that the AFP, “has, in fact, been regularly carrying out aerial bombing runs using its jetfighters and helicopter gunships causing grave hardships against entire communities.” On February 11, the AFP dropped six bombs in Barangay Datal Anggas in Alabel, Sarangani forcing 100 Lumad families, mostly B’laan and Kaolo people to evacuate.
On the same day, the AFP shelled Barangays Macopa, Kibagyo and Bullucan in Laak, Compostela Valley forcing 1,000 families to evacuate. The AFP also dropped bombs in barangays in Manay and Lupon, both in Davao Oriental, on February 1 and 14, respectively.
In Maddela, Isabela and Assipulo, Ifugao, the AFP have threatened to drop bombs in civilian communities in order to force the people to evacuate.