Condemn the AFP for killing of children in indiscriminate firing in Northern Samar

Last February 8, counterinsurgency operating troops belonging to the Philippine Army’s 20th Infantry Battalion fired their weapons indiscriminately on a group of peasants tending their coconut kiln (koprahan) in Barangay Roxas, Catubig, Northern Samar. Two children, including a 12-year old, Grade 6 student, were killed by soldiers. Another child was wounded.

The soldiers were part of a 30-man unit of the 20th IB that was conducting operations against a unit of the New People’s Army (NPA) in the area. The indiscriminate firing against the peasants was an act of retaliation after another smaller team of the 20th IB lost two men in an NPA ambush earlier that day.

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) condemns in the strongest terms the 20th IB for the killing of the two children and the indiscriminate firing of weapons against civilians. The attack against the peasants in Catubig are gross violations of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

The killing of children by the 20th IB last February 8 is the latest fascist crime of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). The indiscriminate firing against peasants is part of the AFP’s heightening attacks against peasants in its increasingly brutal war in the rural areas.

These acts of war against civilians form part of the Duterte regime’s drive to terrorize the people and suppress their resistance to defend their land and fight the military’s occupation of their communities to allow the encroachment of mining companies and plantations. The attacks are set to further rise as the regime intensifies its futile war to crush the people’s armed revolution.

The NPA must take action to attain justice for the children killed by soldiers in Catubig, and all victims of the AFP’s war of suppression.

The regime’s brutal attacks against civilians are succeeding only in stoking the people’s outrage and rousing them to wage greater resistance. More and more people are being roused to join the NPA and wage armed struggle to defend the people against the fascists and advance the cause of national and social liberation.

Condemn the AFP for killing of children in indiscriminate firing in Northern Samar