Farmers’ group protested on Thursday the confirmation of Armed Forced of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Rey Leonardo Guerrero and the promotion of 40 other military officers.
“Guerrero’s confirmation will give him the more power and authority to unleash the most vicious attacks and abuses against the people under the guise of invoking the rule of law, ‘Oplan Kapayapaan’ and Proclamation 374. The CA’s confirmation of Guerrero definitely has Duterte’s approval,” Antonio Flores, secretary-general of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), said in a statement.
Flores said the group will hold Guerrero, the entire AFP bureaucracy and its various units and elements “for the intensifying militarization of peasant communities under the guise of its pursuit” of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) , which President Rodrigo Duterte recently tagged as terrorist groups.
In Mindanao alone, he said, 54 battalions were deployed and are now “wreaking havoc” in peasant communities and rural areas.
“Since Duterte terminated the peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, spate of political killings and other atrocities against civilians intensified,” Flores said.
As of November 2017, KMP said, 113 victims of political killings were documented, and out of this number, 101 were farmers.
Guerrero and the 40 other military officials were confirmed by the Commission on Appointments on Wednesday.