Duterte incites horrifying war crimes – Karapatan

“Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has distinguished himself as a frothing-in-the-mouth fascist, who incites the worst violations of international humanitarian law, aside from his exhortations to his State forces to disregard basic human and people’s rights. His recent comments and pronouncements are but the latest of the series of these madman’s display of tyranny, lunacy and machismo,” thus said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay. 

Karapatan enumerated some of Duterte’s statements, majority were delivered in the presence of soldiers, that incites commission of war crimes, with Duterte promising immunity for his State forces: 

1. On February 9, 2018, in a speech in Davao City, Duterte said he will pay PhP20,000 for each member of the New People’s Army who will be killed by the Lumad: “To the Lumad who will be members of the CAFGU, for every NPA you kill, I’ll pay you…you want money? I’ll give you money. I will make it PhP20,000 per head.”

2. On February 7, 2018, in a remark before alleged rebel-surrenderees in Malacanang, Duterte said in Visaya: “Are there any women holding guns?’ ‘Sir, she’s a fighter. An amazon.’ ‘Shoot her in the vagina.”

3. On November 29, 2017, in a speech in Sual, Pangasinan, Duterte said soldiers should shoot and kill armed NPA rebels: “Shoot them! They will kill you anyway. If there is an armed NPA there or terrorist holding any firearms, shoot … I’ll answer for you.”

4. In a press conference held after his State of the Nation Address on July 25, 2017, Duterte threatened to bomb schools of indigenous peoples in Mindanao: “Leave. I'm telling those in the Lumad schools now, get out. I'll bomb you. I'll include your structures.”

5. On May 31, 2017, in a speech during the Philippine Navy’s anniversary rites in Davao City, Duterte threatened to arrest negotiators and consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines: “I’m warning the leaders who are talking to representatives of my government. Do not attempt to come home. I will arrest all of you and throw you in the slammer, I will imprison you and all the elderly I will arrest you again. If needed, you will just die there inside the prison. You cannot run anymore … so, stop fucking the government.”

6. In a speech before soldiers of the 2nd Mechanized Infantry (Magbalantay) Brigade of the Philippine Army in Iligan City on May 26, 2017, Duterte joked that soldiers could rape up to three women and that he will take responsible for this and other acts of his men in line with martial law in Mindanao: “If you go down, I go down. But for this martial law and the consequences of martial law and the ramifications of martial law, I and I alone would be responsible. Just do your job, I will take care of the rest…I'll imprison you myself. If you had raped three, I will admit it, that's on me."

7. On March 9, 2017, Duterte ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to use all its assets, including newly acquired jets and drop bombs on NPA rebels: “Go ahead! Flatten the hills! If there’s collateral damage, then sorry.” 

Palabay said that the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) stipulates that IHL principles and standards apply to civilians or those taking no active part in the hostilities; members of armed forces who have surrendered or laid down their arms; those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds or any other cause; persons deprived of their liberty for reasons related to the armed conflict; and relatives and duly authorized representatives of above-named persons. 

“Peace advocates, communities and human rights activists have unceasingly demanded for the Philippine government’s compliance to the CARHRIHL, because of the Philippine government forces’ numerous violations. Duterte’s pronouncements, considered as orders from a Commander-in-Chief of the military, emboldens his soldiers to commit more war crimes and fosters an atmosphere of total impunity,” Palabay said. 

“It is thus no wonder, that his foot soldiers in the military to his minions in the executive branch, the police, and in both houses of Congress have shown the same kind of braggadocio, which is but a mere expression of the Duterte regime’s cowardice to account for its crimes against the Filipino people,” Palabay concluded.

Reference:  Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831

Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580