Today's Punto
Today's Punto
Terrorist tag on CPP-NPA to unleash AFP killing spree
By Ding Cervantes

Dec 07, 2017

ANGELES CITY- A farmers’ group expressed fears yesterday that Pres. Duterte’s tagging of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) as terrorists would unleash a “nationwide killing spree” amid reports of 113 cases of “political killings” mostly of rural farmers.

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) cited in a statement a report of the human rights group documenting 113 victims of political extrajudicial killings (EJKs), 222 incidents of frustrated EJKs, 256 illegal arrests and detentions, 924 illegal arrests without detention, 364,617 victims of indiscriminate firing and bombings, 426,170 victims of forced evacuation due to heavy military operations and 39,623 incidents of use of public places for military purposes.

The terrorist tag on the CPP-NPA, the statement said, allegedly boosted the military’s “license to kill.” It warned that “a nationwide killing spree is in the offing.”

“The AFP vowed to be relentless in its focused military operations. Farmers, indigenous peoples, peasant leaders, activists, women, youth and other civilians are easy targets for the AFP and paramilitary mercenaries who are often ineffective in pursuing and defeating the NPA,” said KMP secretary general Antonio Flores.

“Unarmed farmers who assert their right to the land are being killed either by state forces or armed goons of landlords like in the case of the eight Lumad farmers massacred by the 27th and 33rd Infantry Battalions of the Philippine Army in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato,” he said.

Flores noted that the killing of religious leaders, such as Fr. Marcelito ‘Tito’ Paez in Nueva Ecija and Pastor Lovelito Quinones in Oriental Mindoro “are telling signs that the military and its assassins will not treat as different those who are advocating social change and genuine peace.”

“The military won’t distinguish between civilians and combatants, between legal and progressive activists and armed warriors. All they encounter in the mountains are tagged as member or supporter of the NPA and are thus targets of so-called neutralization. Everyone is vulnerable, including activists based in cities and urban areas,” Flores said.

He added, however, that “we will not bow to fear and intimidation. Farmers will continue to assert genuine land reform and will resist land grabbing of farms and ancestral lands. We call on all sectors to remain vigilant and steadfast in upholding democratic rights and civil liberties.”

“In this season of killings, let us assert our right to live. Let us defend civilian democracy against Duterte’s fascist leadership,” Flores said.

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