Violence against Moros under the guise of "counterterrorism"


Even amid the pandemic, the Duterte regime continues to unleash violent attacks against Moro communities under the pretext of “war on terror.” Since December 2020, thousands of families have evacuated due to the attacks perpetrated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in their communities purportedly to go after “remaining forces” of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), Abu Sayyaf and small bandit groups linked by the regime and the US to “ISIS.” At least six minors and a pregnant woman were killed in these operations.

Lanao del Sur. Three children were killed and a pregnant woman was wounded in an attack carried out by the 5th IB at the Moro Islamic Liberation Front Extension Camp in Amai Manabilang on February 20. The soldiers also shelled and strafed the community for 15 minutes.

On February 4, the 55th IB bombed communities in Alonganan and Buayan, Datu Piang after supposedly “sighting” BIFF and Dawlah Islamiyah elements in the area.

Basilan. On January 29, more than 40 families evacuated from their community in Barangay Bohebaca, Tipo-tipo after being attacked by AFP troops. One civilian was killed and another was wounded.

In Barangay Seronggonon, around 200 families evacuated on January 12 after their community was attacked by the Joint Task Force Basilan.

Maguindanao. Two children were seriously wounded when the 57th IB bombed communities in Sambulawan, Datu Salibo on December 13, 2020. One of the victims died last February 14.

The 57th IB and 2nd Mechanized Battalion also bombed and strafed Barangay Pusaw in Shariff Saydona Mustapha on December 15, 2020. Rabea Damada Lakim, who was then 7-months pregnant, was killed during the attack. The bombing resulted in the evacuation of around 1,500 families.

On January 30, more than 600 families evacuated from Tapatan, Barangay Kitango, Datu Saudi Ampatuan after an encounter between the AFP and BIFF in the area.

Sulu. In Patikul and Jolo, at least 12 Moro women were arrested in two raids on October 10, 2020 and February 19 on the pretext that they are “potential suicide bombers.” Several of the arrested women were nursing their infant babies. The military identified them as wives and children of Abu Sayyaf leaders.

Violence against Moros under the guise of "counterterrorism"