Police and military killings, attacks against civilians continue unabated

We denounce the unabated attacks against civilians perpetrated by military and police forces in the course of the Duterte regime’s counterinsurgency operations. At least seven civilians have been killed in these attacks over the past three weeks.

These attacks are being carried out systematically by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against civilians who are not taking part in armed hostilities, in violation of international laws governing armed conflicts.

The clear aim of these attacks is to strike fear in the hearts of the people to silence and paralyze their resistance against the regime’s corruption, brutalities and betrayal of the nation’s sovereignty.

Yesterday at 3 a.m., at least 30 troops under the Regional Mobile Force Battalion (RMFB) raided the home and killed Alex Llabares in Barangay San Roque Heights, Bula, Camarines Norte. Police justified the killing of Llabares by claiming he “resisted arrest.” Llabares is being accused of being a member of the NPA.

Earlier this morning, two civilians were arrested by police in Bohol province. At 1 a.m., Barangay Councilor Carmilo Tabada was arrested in his home in Trinidad, Bohol. Tabada is reportedly a coordinator of the Central Visayas Farmers Development Center (FARDEC). At 3 a.m., combined military and police forces arrested United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) pastor Nathaniel Vallente in his residence in Barangay San Jose, Mabini, Bohol.

Last June 19, two youth residents of Barangay Guiom, Cawayan, Masbate, were abducted by state agents and remain missing to this day. There is an impending anti-communist crackdown in Masbate after police filed complaints against 24 individuals it accused of being members of the NPA.

Earlier this month, at least six civilians were killed by military and police forces in the guise of anti-NPA operations. On June 8, police and military forces killed three civilians in Barangay Anas, Masbate after picking them up from different towns the night before, and presented them as members of the NPA. On June 15, three lumad farmers, including a 12-year old girl, were mowed down by gunfire by troops of the 3rd Special Forces Battalion in Barangay Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur.

Police and military killings, attacks against civilians continue unabated