CPP calls Duterte, forces ‘coward for retaliating against civilians’

MANILA — The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) condemned President Rodrigo Duterte, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) for the latest spate of killings in Negros island.

According to human rights groups, the death toll has reached to 83.

In a statement sent to the media, the CPP said the killings form “part of the pattern of murder and suppression against peasants and human rights defenders since the imposition of Memorandum Order 32 and the PNP and AFP’s Oplan Kapanatagan and SEMPO and Sauron operations.”

In a recent statement, PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde has vowed to continue Oplan Sauron, saying that “the results were good.” Albayalde added,”…if we Oplan Sauron is effective to end insurgency…[it might be implemented] not just in Negros but throughout the country.”

Albayalde issued the statement last weekend during the wake of four policemen killed in an ambush with the New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas. Twenty-one civilians were killed this week, as part of Oplan Sauron.

The CPP said the recent killings of civilians are “Duterte’s cowardly retaliation for the losses suffered by his police forces last July 14 in Ayungon town in Negros Oriental.”

“Unable to hit against the NPA, Duterte’s armed minions have directed his wrath against civilians who the AFP have red tagged and accused of being sympathizers of the NPA,” the CPP said.

The CPP and NPA demanded the Duterte regime to abide by the Geneva Conventions and other international protocols and called on all of Duterte’s forces to stop targeting and killing civilians.

The CPP also directed the NPA to “punish the most abusive military and police forces and defend the people of Negros and the toiling masses across the country.”

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