NDFP National Council
Public Information Office
Press Statement | October 9, 2018
Duterte’s call on AFP and PNP units to “neutralize” the NPA and to shoot even captured revolutionaries is an open endorsement for the AFP to kill with impunity. It highlights anew his regime’s contempt for international humanitarian law (IHL) and due process.
Issuing his call before AFP troops in Samar, Duterte was seemingly echoing Gen. Jake Smith who, in a bid to suppress Filipino resistance to US colonial rule, gave American soldiers in 1901 his infamous orders to take no prisoners, kill everyone ten years old and over and turn Samar into a “howling wilderness.”
Duterte’s call is a clear violation of international norms in the conduct of war, specifically on the treatment of armed personnel rendered hors de combat due to illness, injury or any other cause and those taking no active part in the hostilities.
These same principles are enshrined in the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) which the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) signed in 1998.
Despite being signatory to both the IHL protocols and the CARHRIHL, however, the GRP has been directing its military, paramilitary and police forces to violate international humanitarian law in the treatment of captured NPA guerrillas and Moro rebels. Worse, they target not only armed guerrillas but even non-combatants—unarmed peronnel of the revolutionary movement, political activists and civilians suspected of sympathizing with the NPA.
Under the Duterte regime’s Oplan Tokhang, PNP and vigilante groups under its wing have also planned and carried out the mass murders of more than 25,000 suspected drug “pushers and users” to date.
Now, Duterte wants to use “tokhang” methods against NPA guerrillas in a vain attempt to finish off the revolutionary movement by mid-2019.
Duterte’s fascist henchmen in the military and police should be warned that no crime against the people and the revolutionary forces remains unpunished. They can ask Gen. Jovito Palparan, who received accolades from his master Gloria Arroyo for serving as The Butcher, but who now knows that there is no such thing as lifelong impunity.
As for Duterte, he will be no different from Marcos and all other presidents who reached deeply into their fascist arsenals but failed miserably in their attempt to put an end to the armed revolutionary movement. ###