AFP indiscriminately bombs Abra communities

This article is available in Pilipino

Using drones and helicopters, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) dropped at least 22 bombs on Abra communities in just three days from February 25 to February 27. Soldiers then strafed and shelled the area hitting fishponds, grazing land and crops.

Soldiers and police say it carried out the bombing following what it claim was an encounter with the New People’s Army (NPA)-Abra. The AFP bombarded the area between Barangay Bazar, Sallapadan and Barangay Bulbulala, Licuan-Baay on February 25 and 26.

The NPA-Abra said the AFP used two drones, two attack helicopters and 105 howitzers. It started the bombing during the early hours of February 25 dropping at least 10 bombs and firing thousands of .50 caliber rounds. Howitzers were also used to fire four shells.

On February 27, AFP attack helicopters dropped 12 bombs. Helicopters and drones that circled above the area disturbed residents for several nights.

To prevent the residents from revealing the truth about the bombing, the AFP prohibited anyone, even the local police, from entering the bombed area.

Residents expressed their indignation and complaints about the AFP bombing campaign in messages sent to the local radio station. In their text messages, they called for a stop to the military operations, especially since the people are scheduled to plant rice.

The intensified military operation accompanies the exploration for copper mining in Abra. Since January, the AFP has been encamped in Barangay Ud-uddiao, Sallapadan serving as a security force for the personnel of a company exploring for copper in the province. Company personnel have been seen in rivers and mountain ranges of Barangay Ud-uddiao and Bazar, taking take soil and water samples. They flew a drone to the neighboring town of Daguioman.

AB: AFP indiscriminately bombs Abra communities