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Shoot-to-kill order vs “armed” CPP-NPA

March 09, 2021 - Tuesday 3:03 PM by Jose Ronald F. Siongco

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National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes Esperon Jr on Tuesday confirmed President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has issued a shoot-to-kill order against “armed” members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).

Last week, Duterte reiterated he won’t allow the communists to topple his administration and ordered military and police forces to “kill” communist rebels during the joint meeting of national and regional task forces to end local communist armed conflict (ELCAC) in Cagayan de Oro.

“Unsaon? Unsaon man ninyo pagtumba daw ang gobyerno be? Ako musugot matumba ninyo ang gobyerno? Ako, panagsa ra ko mag... Mao akong giingnan ang militar, pulis. Pag engkwentro gani mo, mogunit og armas, patya. Patya gyud. Tiwasi. Ingna ang human rights, ako nang sugo. Ako'y mapreso. Way problema na,” he said.

In a Laging Handa Public Briefing streamed via Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Facebook Page, Esperon said, “sa talumpati ng ating Pangulo, ay nabanggit niya na ‘ubusin na lahat ang NPA at huwag tayo mag-alala sa Human Rights’. Tama naman yun dahil armado yang mga NPA na yan ay alangan naman ang iisipin mo pa ay Human Rights. Isipin na natin kung paano natin sila matalo.”

Esperon stressed barangays that have been cleansed from NPA influence face retaliation and “siguradong pipilitin nilang mabawi ulit” which is why “shoot-on-sight sa mga armadong NPA” is necessary. 

“Yun talaga ang magandang order ng Pangulo,” he said. “At yan ang gagawin na ating local task forces.”

Further defending Duterte’s “kill, kill, kill” command, Esperon pointed out “‘pag nakita na natin silang may dalang armas, ano pa nga ba yun? Dahil kung hindi mo naman babarilin kaagad, ay ikaw naman ang mababaril.”

“Kaya dapat lang. In the name of peace, law and order ay binitawan na nga ni Pangulo ulit ang shoot-to-kill orders against the armed CPP-NPA,” he emphasized.

Yesterday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, a human rights lawyer, remarked the killing of armed rebels by soldiers is allowed under International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

“Under IHL po, tama yung order ng Presidente, 'kill, kill, kill' kasi nga po kapag merong labanan, kapag ang kalaban mo may baril na puwede kang patayin, alangan naman ikaw ay nag-antay na ikaw ang mabaril at mapatay. Hindi po paglabag ng batas, international humanitarian law, kapag nagpaputok ang sundalo sa isang armadong NPA fighter at mapatay ang NPA fighter,” he explained. MDM

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