AFP bombings, extrajudicial killing and violence in the past week

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The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) dropped bombs in the border communities of Maria, Ilocos Sur and Pilar, Abra on April 2 at noon bringing terror to residents. At least 118 families or approximately 650 people evacuated due to the bombings and restrictions imposed on their livelihoods. Apart from this, hundreds of military troops swarmed into the area for counterinsurgency operations.

The use of powerful bombs is inherently indiscriminate, endangers the lives and livelihoods of civilians and causes extensive destruction to the environment. In fact, the impact of the AFP aerial bombing extends beyond ground zero, contrary to 501st IBde claims that the bombing was only focused on one unit of the New People’s Army (NPA)-Abra.

Killing. The 62nd IB and the police shot and killed civilian farmer Marlon Catacio in Sitio Ngalan, Barangay Quintin Remo, Moises Padilla, Negros Occidental on April 4. To escape responsibility, the military falsely claimed Catacio was a Red fighter killed in a encounter. The victim’s mother herself immediately refuted it.

Arrest. The 62nd IB arrested Ronald Cantela in Sityo Pitik-pitik, Barangay Luz, Guihulngan City on March 20. Soldiers falsely claim having confiscated a pistol from his house. Soldiers also destroyed the family’s belongings during the search.

Sexual abuse. A drunken element of the 59th IB molested and sexually exploited a young girl in Sityo Sales, Barangay Pook, Balayan, Batangas on March 28. This soldier also arbitrarily mauled the girl’s 14-year-old boy companion.

Harassment. Combined forces of the police, military and barangay officials threatened and harassed a team of volunteers conducting an investigation into the impact of El Niño on farmers and residents of Barangay Sampaga, Balayan, Batangas in the early morning of March 24.

AFP bombings, extrajudicial killing and violence in the past week