Malacañang calls Basilan car bomb attack a ‘war crime’
Malacañang has branded as “war crime” the deadly van explosion in Lamitan City, Basilan where at least 11 persons were killed.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the attack was “a war crime because it constitutes an indiscriminate attack” in violation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL).
“It’s an indiscriminate attack. It’s a fact that Basilan, of course, is an area with an armed conflict,” Roque said.
“Under IHL, you must limit your attacks pursuant to military objectives. You must limit it to military targets. You must avoid protected individuals, including civilians,” he also said.
As of this posting, Roque said authorities were still investigating to determine the perpetrators of the explosion.
“We do not know who’s behind it yet. We’re still investigating,” the spokesman said when asked if the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) was behind the attack.
Roque reiterated President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for ASG members to surrender since “they can still be accommodated as [surrenderers], in the same way that we are accepting [surrenderers] from the NPA (New People’s Army).”
Lamitan City Vice Mayor Roderick Furigay said that as of 10:20 a.m., 11 persons were killed from the van explosion 15 meters away from a checkpoint.
The van exploded around 5:30 a.m. in Barangay Bulanting. All fatalities were blown into pieces as well as farm animals nearby, Furigay said. /kga
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