MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Thursday said that to a certain extent, military troops are implementing President Rodrigo Duterte’s “shoot-to-kill” order against armed communist rebels.
Speaking during the Laging Handa briefing, Lorenzana explained that the order is only being implemented on communist rebels who are actively fighting the government.
“In a way, yes,” Lorenzana said when asked if soldiers are implementing the “shoot-to-kill” order of Duterte. “‘Yung kanyang utos na ‘shoot-to-kill ay ‘yung mga ayaw bumaba at lumalaban pa rin sa gobyerno.”
(His ‘shoot-to-kill’ order is for those communist rebels who are going against the government.)
“Armado, handang pumatay din, lumalaban sa mga tropa natin, either pulis o military, eh ‘di anong gagawin ng military saka pulis kundi gantihan din sila, barilin din sila, ‘yun ang ibig sabihin ng kanyang ‘shoot-to-kill’,” Lorenzana continued.
(Armed, ready to kill, and fighting against our troops, either the police or military. What will our military and police do but to also shoot at them. That is the meaning of the President’s ‘shoot-to-kill’ order.)
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. earlier expressed support to the President’s “shoot-to-kill” order, saying defeating them should be the concern rather than upholding human rights.
Last week, President Duterte ordered the police and military to “kill them all” communist rebels and “don’t mind human rights.”
Days following this pronouncement, nine activists were killed in a series of police and military raids in Calabarzon.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) earlier claimed that the activists who were killed engaged police and soldiers in armed confrontations—or in Filipino, “nanlaban.”
The United Nations has expressed its dismay over what it called the apparent arbitrary killing of the activists.
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