Duterte putting civilians in line of fire—CPP
DAVAO CITY—President Rodrigo Duterte has shown his “total contempt of civilian people’s lives” when he ordered the police and the military to conduct offensives against, and drop bombs on the New People’s Army, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said in a statement issued Friday.
The CPP said Duterte had “callously” considered civilians – who would be caught in the “anything goes” offensive – as mere collateral damage.
“In ordering the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) to carry out aerial bombings, Duterte risks indictment for war crimes as he puts thousands of civilians in the line of fire,” the CPP said, adding that air assault had always endangered non-combatants in the past.
It belittled the military’s precision in the conduct of air strikes when it said: “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,” the CPP added.
Earlier, Duterte dismissed the possibility of renewed talks with the communists – even as negotiators were holding back-channel talks in Europe – in the wake of the Bansalan, Davao del Sur ambush that killed four policemen and wounded another. The NPA has owned up to the attack.
He lamented that the NPA has targeted non-combatants this time, such as the Scene of Crime Operations (Soco) members.
“They were only about to investigate. What color is there?” he asked.
He said the military can now use all its assets including the newly-acquired jets and drop bombs on the rebels and that this time, it would be “anything goes.”
“Go ahead, flatten the hills,” he said, to the delight of the crowd present.
Addressing the NPA, the President said “Look at what you have done. Look at how the people responded.”
He said it was no longer viable to talk with the rebels because “nilulugaw nila (they muddle it).”
He said instead of talking, he was now asking the military and the police to “wage a war against them (NPA).”
Duterte said waging a war against the NPA was okay because “there is no peace talks yet.”
“It’s totally absent. So, in the meantime, I will also ask the Armed Forces to go ahead and wage a war against them. I’ll allow police and military to use all available assets,” he said during his visit to the wake of three of the four slain policemen in Bansalan.
“This time, I’m using everything. I’ve encouraged the police to call in the air assets,” Duterte added.
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