Soldiers kill farmer in Masbate

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On June 23, soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) killed a civilian named Boyet Rodrigo in Barangay Miabas, Palanas, Masbate. The military claimed he was killed in an encounter with the New People’s Army (NPA). According to records from the human rights group Karapatan-Masbate, Rodrigo is the 31st victim of extrajudicial killing in the province under the Marcos administration.

Residents reported that Rodrigo was summoned by soldiers, who were posing as NPA fighters, to an abandoned house, where he was then shot. The perpetrators were confirmed as AFP soldiers after they threatened barangay officials to sign a document attesting that an encounter occurred.

The soldiers’ shooting and killing of Rodrigo is a blatant violation of international humanitarian laws, rules of war, and other international declarations that protect civilians and non-combatants in armed conflicts.

Article 32 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions prohibits any measures causing physical suffering or extermination of protected persons. This act also violates the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) signed by the Philippine Government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

Additionally, residents of the village and neighboring barangays were forced to evacuate due to fear of being targeted by soldiers. This caused severe trauma to farmers, especially children and the elderly. Their concerns were magnified as land in Barangay Miabas is reportedly being grabbed by Masbate Governor Kho.

AB: Soldiers kill farmer in Masbate