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ICHRP Condemns AFP Airstrike in Quezon Province, Philippines

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ICHRP Condemns AFP Airstrike in Quezon Province, Philippines

Urgent Alert
March 8, 2024

The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) condemns the reported airstrike carried out by the 81st IBPA of the Philippine Army on the border of provinces Camarines Sur and Quezon in South Luzon. 

According to provincial human rights alliance Tanggol Quezon, soldiers aboard a helicopter fired on a family of coconut farm workers in Brgy. Maguibay, Tagkawayan, Quezon, in the early morning of March 4, 2024. The farm workers reportedly signaled by burning coconut shells to let the soldiers know that they were civilians. However, this did not deter the military from firing, and almost hitting the three civilians in the process.

The so-called counterinsurgency military operation caused widespread fear to the residents in the area, affecting the livelihood of farmers. Schools were reportedly affected and classes were suspended in barangays Mapulot, Bamban, Maguibuay, Tunton, Mansilay and Munting Parang in the municipality of  Tagkawayan, Quezon province, in Southern Tagalog and in barangays Mansalaya, Sta. Rita, Bagong Silang and Tabion in the town of Del Gallego, Camarines Norte, Bicol region.

The airstrike follows the series of aerial bombings carried out by the Philippine Army in Escalante, Negros and Bukidnon. In these cases, the military conveniently hides under the banner of its US-backed counterinsurgency program against communist rebels, to justify its disproportionate use of force that impacts civilians in the countryside.

The reported forced evacuation of hundreds of families and the massive threat it posed to the lives of civilians including school children through indiscriminate firing constitute violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

ICHRP calls for an immediate investigation to ensure the safety of affected civilians in the area. It reiterates its call for support from the international community to hold the Philippine government accountable for its countless human rights and IHL violations under the Marcos Jr. administration. ###

Further comment: Peter Murphy, ICHRP Chairperson. WhatsApp: +61 418312301. Email: [email protected].